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Short Cut to Hell (1957)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | September 1957 (USA)
A professional hitman is hired by a friend to commit two murders. His friend pays him off in what turns out to be stolen money, and the police soon trace the money to him. On the run, he ... See full summary »

Director:

James Cagney

Writers:

Graham Greene (novel), Ted Berkman (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
William Bishop ... Sgt. Stan Lowery
Robert Ivers ... Kyle Niles
Georgann Johnson ... Glory Hamilton
Yvette Vickers ... Daisy
Murvyn Vye ... Nichols
Jacques Aubuchon ... Bahrwell
Peter Baldwin ... Carl Adams
Richard Hale ... AT
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Storyline

A professional hitman is hired by a friend to commit two murders. His friend pays him off in what turns out to be stolen money, and the police soon trace the money to him. On the run, he kidnaps the girlfriend of the police detective in charge of his pursuit and threatens to kill her unless the hunt is called off. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Professional killer...with a gun for hire!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

À deux pas de l'enfer See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In Oct. 1957, this film was widely exhibited on the drive-in theater circuit on a double bill with The Devil's Hairpin (1957). See more »

Quotes

[Kyle just told Glory that he's a professional killer]
Glory Hamilton: Is there anything you like about yourself?
Kyle: Yeah. I never miss.
See more »

Connections

Version of This Gun for Hire See more »

Soundtracks

I'm in the Mood for Love
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Directed by James Cagney
17 January 2007 | by mackjay2See all my reviews

As B movies go, SHORT CUT TO HELL makes it pretty far. This is a tawdrier remake of Graham Greene's source novel for THIS GUN FOR HIRE with lower-rent sets, and lead actors less charismatic, but still very effective. In fact, it's the acting that most impresses about this odd little film. Robert Ivers embodies the diminutive, tightly wound hit-man pretty convincingly; his body language and hard-edged line deliveries are spot-on. Opposite him is Georgann Johnson, who has a disarming, natural acting style. The oil and water combination of these two sustains an interesting tension for the whole movie. Their first meeting aboard a train is a case in point: a very effectively played scene. Talented Johnson never made much of a mark until television later in the 50s and 60s. In the role of Bahrwell, Jacques Aubuchon is very well cast, as are Murvyn Vye and assorted other smaller roles, including Yvette Vickers and Douglas Spencer. Scarce prints of SHORT CUT TO HELL don't always include director James Cagney's spoken introduction and sometimes a jump cut suggests editorial trimming. A restored version of this film would do justice to Cagney's gift for directing actors and a couple of fine action sequences.


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