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Highway Dragnet (1954)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 27 January 1954 (USA)
Wrongly accused of killing a bar-girl he was seen with earlier, a Korean War vet flees from the police in the company of a woman photographer and her young female model.

Director:

Nathan Juran

Writers:

Herb Meadow (screenplay), Jerome Odlum (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Conte ... Jim Henry
Joan Bennett ... Mrs. Cummings
Wanda Hendrix ... Susan Willis
Reed Hadley ... Det. Lt. Joe White Eagle
Mary Beth Hughes ... Terry Smith
Iris Adrian ... Dolly
Harry Harvey ... Mr. Carson
Tom Hubbard Tom Hubbard ... Det. Sgt. Ben Barnett
Frank Jenks ... Marine in Civvies
Murray Alper ... Ice Cream Truck Driver
Zon Murray ... Trooper in Cafe
House Peters Jr. ... Steve
Joseph Crehan ... Elderly Border Inspection Officer
Charles Anthony Hughes ... Chubby Border Inspection Officer (as Tony Hughes)
Bill Hale Bill Hale ... Harry
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Storyline

Mrs. Cummings, a free-lance magazine photographer and a recent widow after her husband committed suicide, and her model, Susan, are on an assignment to cover resorts California and Nevada. Driving west from Las Vegas they pick up Jim Henry, a recently-discharged Marine, who is hitchhiking to the home of a friend near the Salton Sea. Meanwhile, back in Las Vegas, a blonde known casually by Jim, is found murdered. Jim becomes the object of a manhunt directed by Police-Lieut. White Eagle of the Las Vegas police. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THREE-STATE ALARM FOR THRILL-KILLER...Along the Roaring Crime Route from Las Vegas! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 January 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The House in the Sea See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the waitress at the cafe is listed as 'Dolly' but the trooper repeatedly calls her 'Sally'. See more »

Goofs

At the camp fire in the desert, Jim put his .45 caliber pistol on the rock with the barrel pointing away from the fire, but subsequent views of the gun show the barrel point toward the camp fire. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Roger Corman (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A True Sleeper; A Low-Budget Noir Adventure Well-Acted and Well-Directed
6 July 2005 | by silverscreen888See all my reviews

This is a very unusual and low-budget B/W adventure from producer Roger Corman, directed by skillful Nathan Juran; one whose creators do a neat variation on the old tale of people kidnapped by a fugitive heading to somewhere and needing their vehicle or themselves as hostages. I find the storyline is straightforward and classic noir. Scene:  a casino in Las Vegas, a marine just back from service Marine (Richard Conte), buys a drink for platinum blonde (Mary Beth Hughes), and somehow insults her; so they have a public quarrel but then reconcile the problem.  The following  day, he is taken in by the sheriff an named the prime suspect in the girl's demise; she has been strangled. Using his military skills, he overpowers the officers holding him and sets out on the "lam". Troopers are checking the highways for him, hence the title, and also the state border; So he helps and hitches a ride with with a two women who have had car trouble. One is wealthy fashion photographer from New York, Joan Bennett; her young assistant, Wanda Hendrix, is the other. After a while the two try to rid themselves of him, but he stays with them--finally having to use force to have his way. He heads for the town where he grew up, for a climax, finding it under the waters of the Salton Sea. The film ends happily for Conte, but not before Bennett's dog has been killed, and he has been doubted severely and tested to the limit.  The film is inexpensive-looking and has indifferent dialogue by  but the story line is good, clean and memorable. Roger Corman devised the original story; four others had hands in the screenplay. There is original music by Edward Kay and some decent but hardly outstanding technical work. In the cast along with the principals are stalwart Reed Hadley, Frank Jenks, Iris Adrian, Harry Harvey,Tom Hubbard (one of the writers) and others all showing to advantage. I first saw this film nearly fifty years ago; and it is still memorable and satisfying; with more money and better dialogue, I believe these actors and the director could have made a fine narrative even better.


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