A blonde floozy drifts into town and gets a job as a waitress at a local bar. She sets her sights on the bar's handsome owner, who is married to an alcoholic. Her plans are for the two of ... See full summary »
Johnny Damico botches a murder case and is suspended from the force. In reality, he is put undercover to identify the mysterious boss of the NY waterfront who has murdered everyone in his way. Will Johnny be next in line?
A number of otherwise insignificant small-town stories erupt into drama when a gang of hoodlums decides to rob the local bank. A father looking for pride in his son's eyes, a timid clerk who is a peeping tom by night, a man striving to rewin his wife's love, an Amish farmer faced with viciousness, and a proper older woman turned thief, all find themselves entangled with the bank robbers as a peaceful weekend turns violent.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Slick Vic, Snortin' Lee Plus Ernest Borgnine and His Pitchfork
This is a dizzyingly silly fifties crime pic, very watchable, with some capable actors in small roles. Some of the behind-the-scenes people have done some fine work elsewhere, notably director Richard Fleischer and screenwriter Sid Boehm. There's a touch of The Asphalt Jungle in the caper aspect, while Victor Mature's businessman-father-who-didn't-serve-in the-war is out of Stanley Kramer or maybe Studio One. Richard Egan tries ever so hard to bring conviction, and does, to his flashy role of a rich boy alcoholic weakling, but doesn't have the chops to pull the part off. (I can imagine someone like Richard Baeshart might have done better, and even got an Oscar nod had been been cast.) The bad guys, a sinister-looking but bland Steve McNally, a menacing Lee Marvin, and a sometimes jovial J. Carrol Naish, do decent work. The small-town that provides the background for the crime is populated by such hick types as Sylvia Sidney and Tommy Noonan. Nothing about this movie is credible. Everything takes place in a Hollywood-manufactured world, not in itself a bad thing except that the picture makes a serious stab at realism, which is a fatal aesthetic flaw, since the story would have worked better on a smaller scale, in black and white, or on a bigger, more artificial one. The slice-of-life character study part of the picture suggests a small-town Executive Suite, while the examination of the hypocrisies and oddities of Middle America evoke the yet-to-be-made Picnic. There's deja vu all over the place in this one, though to the best of my knowledge Ernest Borgnine had never played an Amish farmer before.
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