Fed up with the inhumane prison living conditions, a general prison riot breaks out, leading to hostage-taking, a stand-off with the guards and eventual negotiations with the prison administration officials.
The midnight murder of a rancher and his wife leaves circumstantial evidence pointing the finger of guilt toward a married couple, George Braden and his wife Ellen, who live and work on the ranch. George confesses to the killings in order to free his wife from hours of grilling by the police. Despite the best efforts of his defense attorney, Doug Madison , George gets the death penalty. Sunsequent events, and his sympathy for Ellen convince Doug that George is innocent, but he must find the real murderer to prove it. His manhunt leads to a former hired hand, Max Verne. With the help of the latter's greedy girlfriend, Gracie Sanger, Max is found and admits to the killings. But when a hearing is held, a psychiatrist pronounces him unsound of mind, but harmless, and the judge sets him free. After the Governor rejects Doug's pleas for an appeal for George, the townspeople turn against him, and his fiancée, Paula Mitchener), misconstrues his association with Ellen and breaks their ...Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
When Director of Photography John Alton agreed to do this movie, he asked Producer Benedict Bogeaus how much he had budgeted for rigging, the system of overhead pipes, brackets, ropes, and cables that suspends lights over a film set. Bogeaus told him four thousand dollars. "Give me two thousand dollars above my salary and I won't use any rigging", Alton said. He did it by using almost no overhead lighting at all, contributing to the film's rich visual atmosphere. See more »
Although described as film noir, this average crime movie lacks the biting dialogue, intriguing plot development and menacing atmosphere of more acclaimed and competent films in this category.
The plot has been outlined well enough in other reviews here and evaluation of performances are referred to. But really, this is very much a B grade movie with neither plot or characterisation memorable in any positive way.
But the musical score, especially when the murder suspect (Jack Elam) is being chased at night by law authorities is as way over the top as any musical score you will ever hear. Ludicrously resembling the cry of a banshee or demented psychopath superimposed on the actual musical score, the movie is well worth viewing just for the laughs this music will engender. Really remarkable!!
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