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.
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
The Dennis Weaver character, when he came in the house at the time when he was drunk, took off his gloves. When he left he picked up his hat in his hands, but not his gloves. On the next exterior shot we see him wearing his gloves. See more »
Another of the 'home invasion' dramas so popular at the time, except with a twist. Here the fleeing criminals (bank robbers) invade the secluded mountain home of one (Wilde) of the robbers' old sweeties (Wallace) now married to a failed writer (Duryea) with an adolescent son (Stollery). Naturally, in these cramped quarters with a blizzard outside, emotions bubble over, especially with the consumptive, jealous Duryea, plus the unstable gunman Steven Hill.
These are promising elements but the drama really fails to gel, because Wilde is too nice to project real menace, while the real menace, Hill, is never given the kind of emotional close- ups that would establish his danger. Instead, he just sort of prowls around in the background. Actually, the movie's mainly about the burgeoning Wilde-Stollery relationship, where you have to read between the lines about the actual source of the dog collar. Then too, it's Stollery stealing the movie in a poignantly shaded performance, while Wilde unwisely spends too much time showing off his manly chest.
The second half moves to the great outdoors, where the gang tries to escape the approaching cops by fleeing over the snowy mountains. Here we get some suspense as the figures are reduced to little dots on a great white landscape. Now they're struggling not only with each other, but with an overwhelming nature. This part plays out in fairly effective fashion, though I never did figure out what exactly the errant snowplow was doing on an anonymous mountainside.
All in all, it's an uneven, sometimes awkwardly filmed movie, whose chief virtue may be what it doesn't tell the audience about the relationships instead of what it does. And kudos to producer Wilde for giving the blacklisted Lee Grant a minor part as the gang's moll, at a time when the best this fine actress could get is TV walk-ons. My guess is Wilde took on too much for a first-time filmmaker (director-producer-star) and would have been advised to hire an accomplished director. But then this was a low-budget effort, (the interiors were filmed in a TV studio!). Wilde's real filmmaking talent would show up later in the acclaimed Naked Prey (1966), so I guess this was something of a learning experience.
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