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22 user 17 critic

Shack Out on 101 (1955)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 4 December 1955 (USA)
An isolated diner on California's 101 highway provides the backdrop of the story involving nuclear secrets, foreign spies and federal agents.

Director:

Edward Dein

Writers:

Edward Dein (story), Mildred Dein (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Terry Moore ... Kotty
Frank Lovejoy ... Prof. Sam Bastion
Keenan Wynn ... George
Lee Marvin ... Slob / Mr. Gregory
Whit Bissell ... Eddie
Jess Barker ... Artie
Donald Murphy Donald Murphy ... Pepe
Frank DeKova ... Prof. Claude Dillon
Len Lesser ... Perch
Fred Gabourie Fred Gabourie ... Lookout
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Storyline

At an isolated, seaside greasy-spoon cafe live George, the sarcastic owner; Slob, the potentially violent cook; and Kotty, the sexy waitress all the men lust after. Plus an occasional customer, including "Professor Sam", Kotty's boyfriend from a nearby research facility. And something's going on under the potentially explosive surface emotions...nuclear secrets being smuggled out of the country. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Four men and a girl!


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 December 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shack Up on 101 See more »

Filming Locations:

Malibu, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Title was supposed to be "Shack Up on 101", but star Terry Moore objected on the grounds that it was too suggestive. See more »

Quotes

Prof. Sam Bastion: Kotty, now what's wrong.
Kotty: Nothing. I just don't want to stand between you and your shells. You don't need a woman, you should go steady with a clam. I don't get it... a grown up man, and you still play with sea shells.
See more »


Soundtracks

A SUNDAY KIND OF LOVE
Written by Barbara Belle, Louis Prima, Anita Leonard and Stan Rhodes
Credited and used in score but not vocally
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Almost a genre unto itself: Red Scare Farce
22 March 2003 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

The shack out on Highway 101 just north of San Diego is an oceanside greasy-spoon hung with nautical bric-a-brac like a Red Lobster franchise. It's also the regional headquarters for an subversive spy ring and the claustrophobic setting for one of the oddest fish spawned during the Red Scare paranoia of the post-war years.

Keenan Wynn owns the joint, with short-order cook Lee Marvin and waitress Terry Moore as his live-in help, an arrangement as uncomfortable for Moore as it is convenient for Marvin, who can't keep his hands or lips off her. Regulars include Frank Lovejoy (as an unspecified 'professor' romancing Moore), salesman Whit Bissell, an old fisherman making 'deliveries' right off the boat, and a couple of drivers for theAcme Poultry Company who come in for coffee and cherry pie. In this entrepôt big wads of cash get traded for tiny slivers of microfilm. And operatives losing their nerve or asking too many questions get dead.

Few of those movies which the studios felt constrained to issue in testimony to their rock-solid Americanism were much good (and audiences shunned them like week-old mackerel). But they shared an utter lack of humor and a suffocating tone of moral urgency. This one is more perplexing. The prevailing tone remains light, at times veering toward farce, to an extent that the very real possibility presents itself that the whole thing is a very sly put-on.

One morning when Wynn and Marvin, stripped to their waists, engage in some weight-lifting, Wynn insists that his chest muscles be referred to as 'pecs.' Marvin retorts 'I'm very happy with my pecs,' whereupon they call in Moore to judge which of them has the better legs. In another scene, Moore, lighted through the holes of a hanging colander, looks like she contracted some exotic contagion. But then the movie shifts abruptly into cloak-and-dagger episodes right out of B-movies of the international intrigue genre. Towards the end, the heart sinks as it becomes clear that the movie means us to take it seriously. But serious about what? Never is the word 'Communist' uttered.


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