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Claire Sinclair is hiding in Mexico to avoid testifying against her gangster boyfriend. Her seclusion is made difficult by Cappy Gordon, a mob strongman out to kill her unless she runs off with him. Trying to help Claire is Russ Lambert, an American prizefighter.Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
SECOND CHANCE is a routinely-plotted thriller with an above-average setting (the glorious mountain top terrain of Mexico) and a decent cast to lift it above the norm for the genre. I should also note that it was originally released in 3D in 1953 as part of the short-lived 3D boom in movies, although watching it 'flat' there aren't many (or any) eye-popping sequences that stand out as in the likes of HOUSE OF WAX, for example.
The story opens with some excellent and suspenseful chase sequences in which put-upon heroine Linda Darnell is being hunted through the streets by the vengeful Jack Palance. It turns out that she's a witness ready to testify against a mob boss and he's the bodyguard sent to bring her home. You know the story by now, but what makes this fun is an ultra-laconic Robert Mitchum as a boozy boxer who Darnell ends up hooking up with.
Sadly the middle part of the film gets a little tedious with some drawn-out romance scenes and the great Palance left skulking in the background. However, things pick up for an extended, disaster-fuelled climax set in and atop a broken cable car. There are some great fight scenes and stunts which make full use of the taut scenario. SECOND CHANCE isn't the greatest film out there, but it's certainly a distinctive and memorable one.
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