After being wounded by a bullet, bank robber Charlie Blake seeks shelter with his gang at his brother's mountain retreat. There he rekindles his romance with his brother's wife and reconnects with the boy he believes is his son.
Fed up with the raising crime in Miami, the police chief and the leading members of the city council hire a former Miami gangster, gone straight, to help eliminate the biggest crime syndicate in the city.
Nick and his partner Al stage a payroll holdup. Al is shot and Nick kills a policeman. Nick hides out at a public pool, where he meets Peg Dobbs. They go back to her apartment and he forces her family to hide him from the police manhunt.
During a snow storm in upstate New England, novelist Fred Blake, his wife Elizabeth and young son David are trapped inside their remote cabin in the hills. Their only contact with the outside world is their phone and a hired hand, Hank, who occasionally brings them the mail and supplies. The Blakes are surprised by the unexpected arrival of Fred's brother Charlie, gunman Benjie and blonde floozy Edna Rogers. Charlie suffers from gunshot wounds and needs immediate care. The trio had robbed a bank and are on the run from the police. The radio news reveal that bank robbers killed a bank guard and took some eighty thousand dollars. Fred is irritated about Charlie's arrival since Charlie always had problems with the law and also because he used to be Elizabeth's lover before he left her, allowing Fred to marry her. The wounded Charlie is lodged in the upstairs bedroom to recuperate. Young David, takes a strong liking to his wounded uncle, despite his parents' warning that Charlie is a ...Written by
A struggling writer and his family are visited at their remote mountain farm by his brother -- a wounded bank robber on the lam. Cornel Wilde directed eight films in his lifetime (seven of them, like this one, starring himself) and this was his first. And a superior first film it is, one I liked much more than NAKED PREY. Elevated far above the usual hostage drama by the strained familial relations and internal strife within each group. The interactions between the players are leaden with sorrow, failure and the ghosts of past regrets. Every character occupies a gray area, conflicted and/or damaged. Even the young boy plays a crucial role beyond being just an adorable moppet in jeopardy. The exception is the sidekick character who is pretty much your standard bad guy, but even he is given life with an engaging performance by Steven Hill. The whole cast is great: Lee Grant as the shabby dame, Jean Wallace as the wife with some secrets of her own, Dan Duryea again impressing me with a role outside his usual mold, Dennis Weaver as the hired hand, and of course Wilde. He makes an interesting choice to play the character with a slight stammer, hinting at the doubts that gnaw at him. The script is thoughtful and gripping, with a few great hard-boiled zingers for Grant and Hill. I also have to mention the music, yet another sublime score by Elmer Bernstein. This is an outstanding picture that takes unexpected turns and is heavy with melancholy and desperation. It needs a restoration and DVD release immediately.
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