The first of the five films where Bill Elliott played a detective lieutenant in the L.A Sheriff's department, Dial Red "O" (the correct title with the number 0 (zero), as on a telephone ...
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The first of the five films where Bill Elliott played a detective lieutenant in the L.A Sheriff's department, Dial Red "O" (the correct title with the number 0 (zero), as on a telephone dial, shown in ") opens with war-torn veteran Ralph Wyatt getting word that his wife is divorcing him, and he flees the psychiatric ward of the veteran's hospital, wanting to talk to her. His escape touches off an all-out manhunt, led by Lieutenant Andy Flynn of the sheriff's department. Wyatt's wife, Connie is having an affair with Norman Roper, a judo expert in Wyatt's old Marine unit. When Roper refuses to divorce his own wife (Regina Gibson) to marry Connie, they have a violent quarrel in Connie's apartment. Roper kills Connie and incriminates Wyatt, who is arrested and held on suspicion of homicide. Convinced that Roper is the real murderer, Wyatt escapes from his cell in the Hollywood Sheriff's office, and goes to Roper's home. Lt. Flynn has discovered evidence pointing to Roper as the killer, ...Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I took a look at Wild Bill Elliott's credits and the last time he was in modern dress for a movie before Dial Red O was in a small role as a bootlegger in The Roaring Twenties. My guess his popularity as a western star was on the decline as the films he made were now being done in television series. I'm surprised Elliott never went into the small screen to continue as a western star. Also he dropped the 'Wild' in his screen billing, that seemed to not fit now that he was playing a police lieutenant in modern dress.
In Dial Red O we are introduced to Elliott's new character of Lieutenant Andy Flynn of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The case he catches in this film is the murder of Helene Stanley who is the good time wife of Marine veteran Keith Larsen. Larsen is doing a stay in the Psychiatric Ward of the Veteran's Hospital as things haven't been going so well with him.
That's not stopping Stanley from spending his money and having a good time with Larsen's old friend from the Corps Paul Picerni. A little too much pressure going both ways and Stanley winds up dead.
We know Picerni did it, the suspense is whether Elliott and Larsen can put it together. An offhand remark by law enforcement tells Larsen who the murderer is.
Dial Red O is one no frills production. Allied Artists obviously had a contract commitment to Elliott and they wanted to see how the public would take to him out of his boots and in a squad car not on a horse. It's all right, but again nothing you couldn't see on television.
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