6.9/10
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37 user 10 critic

Split Second (1953)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 2 May 1953 (USA)
Two escaped killers take hostages and hide in a Nevada mining ghost town knowing that an atom bomb is scheduled to be tested there the next morning.

Director:

Dick Powell

Writers:

William Bowers (screen play), Irving Wallace (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Stephen McNally ... Sam Hurley
Alexis Smith ... Kay Garven
Jan Sterling ... Dorothy 'Dottie' Vail
Keith Andes ... Larry Fleming
Arthur Hunnicutt ... Asa Tremaine
Paul Kelly ... Bart Moore
Robert Paige ... Arthur Ashton
Richard Egan ... Dr. Neal Garven
Frank DeKova ... Dummy (as Frank de Kova)
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Storyline

Sam Hurley, "Nation's No. 1 killer" with a cold contempt for "heroes," escapes prison with two companions and takes a mixed bag of hostages to Nevada ghost town Lost Hope City. He knows they won't be found there because an atom-bomb test is planned for next morning! Relationships shift and tension builds as Hurley keeps the others in suspense as to whether he will let them escape before bomb time. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Suspense that screams... and screams... and screams... in this story of six people caught in a desert death trap... facing utter destruction! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 May 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Split Second See more »

Filming Locations:

Mojave Desert, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The escaped convict Bart Moore is played by Paul Kelly who himself spent 25 months during the late 1920s in California's San Quentin State Prison. He was convicted of manslaughter for the beating death of actor Ray Raymond, the first husband of actress Dorothy Mackaye, who was having an affair with Kelly and would later marry him. Kelly's next film after this one was Duffy of San Quentin (1954) where he plays the title role - the warden of the prison where he himself did time. See more »

Goofs

The five minute warning siren immediately started at peak, which is impossible because electromechanical sirens are essentially motors with blades attached, and no electric motor ever conceived of can start at maximum speed without first winding up to that speed from zero. See more »

Quotes

Larry Fleming: You don't think very much of people, do you?
Sam Hurley: I don't think very much of anything.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Skullduggery (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautifully bleak and sweetly viscous.
5 May 2003 | by blehman-2See all my reviews

Beautifully bleak and sweetly viscous, this tale of looming doom set near an atomic bomb test site touches the exposed nerves of the early 50's paranoia and fear. A kind of twisted take on Hitchcock's "Lifeboat" the desparate characters are placed in a desert ghost town with the explosive clock ticking. There is a charged atmosphere and undertow of sadistic sexuality that hangs about many of the scenes.


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