At the age of 9, Tommy Woodry has a reputation for telling tall tales -- the latest one being that his family is moving from Manhattan to a ranch out west. When the landlord interrupts the Woodrys at dinner to show their about-to-be-vacated apartment, the Woodrys tell Tommy enough is enough. Then that hot summer night Tommy decides to sleep on the fire escape -- outside the Kellerson's apartment, since it is a story higher and gets more breeze. Tommy sees the Kellersons kill a man. Tommy's parents and the police won't believe his story. But the Kellersons want to silence him.Written by
Dale O'Connor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While running down the top flight of stairs to play with the neighbor boys at 04:15, Tommy's breath is visible, and is visible again while he is running to the police station at 25:49 just after he runs past the canopy of 136th. This is consistent with being shot in the late Fall, but is not consistent with being set in the 94 degree heat of summer (04:43). See more »
A good lickin' never hurt anybody, boy. My old man used to give me enough of 'em when I was a kid. Hey, still in all, I never thought of callin' the cops when he did.
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The role of "Tommy" played by BOBBY DRISCOLL by special arrangement with WALT DISNEY See more »
A belter of a B noir out of RKO. Story plays as a variant to the boy who cried wolf legend and finds young Bobby Driscoll as Tommy, a boy prone to telling tall tales. So when one night he spies upstairs neighbours murdering a man, nobody believes him...
The build up to the crime is considered, we are privy to Tommy's home life in a cramped New York tenement, his parents loyal and hard working and they have plenty of love for their fanciful son.
Once the crime is committed, a shocking incident compounded by the fact it's perpetrated by a normal looking male and female couple, a destitute pairing prepared to do the unthinkable just for cash, then things get real tense and the thrills begin to roll.
Tommy is now under threat from the killers and he needs to be silenced, so as the cramp confines of the hot and sweaty tenement area are vividly brought to life via noir visuals, Ted Tetzlaff (director) and his cinematographers (Robert De Grasse & William O. Steiner) excelling, the paranoia and tension builds to the point that the gripping finale acts as a merciful release.
Very well performed by a cast that also includes Paul Stewart, Ruth Roman, Arthur Kennedy and Barabara Hale, this late 1940s noir is highly recommended. 8/10
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