Julia Ross secures employment, through a rather nosy employment agency, with a wealthy widow, Mrs. Hughes, and goes to live at her house. 2 days later, she awakens - in a different house, ... See full summary »
A showy medium has a set of fancy jewels. Dan Duryea, THE BURGLAR, intends to steal them with the help of gang member Jayne Mansfield. Will the stresses and strains of the criminal lifestyle wreck their lives, or will the gang finally make the big score that will let them all retire?
This is one of those movies, following in the wake of the Asphalt Jungle, that shows how the tiny character flaws of the criminals involved in a caper all work to mess up their enterprise. If you like the genre, you'll like this. If you are not a noir/crime movie enthusiast, you might determine that all this seems pretty derivative from better movies. The director has definitely seen his Orson Welles movies (Citizen Kane and Lady from Shanghai are sampled here), but he only has a B-movie plot to drive the action. Later in the movie, this becomes a problem when the mechanics of inevitable doom require Duryea to show an implausible lack of judgment.
Nevertheless, Dan Duryea, who plays his role without an ounce of his usual scuzzy smarm, responds quite well to being cast somewhat against type. Jayne Mansfield, who had not yet developed her inflatable sex doll persona (this movie was shot well before Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?), does well with a fairly nuanced part that makes use of her looks, but does not require her to be either stupid or sleazy. The movie, when not being overly showy with its visuals, gets in some great location shooting in both Philadlphia and Atlantic City.
This is worth seeing, if you like crime movies. But you will get the feeling there was a lot of potential that went unfulfilled here.
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