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 ...
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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
Robert Ivers and Georgeann Johnson never quite had the careers that were predicted for them in the introduction to this film by their director. But both give a reasonably competent road show adaption of the Paramount classic This Gun For Hire. Short Cut To Hell also stars William Bishop in the role of the San Francisco cop played originally by Robert Preston who is on the trail to Los Angeles looking for a killer.
The whole wartime angle in This Gun For Hire is dropped for this 1957 film. Instead it's a contract killing of civil servant Peter Baldwin who is about to expose some shady dealings in building contracting. But as in the original he's paid off in hot money from a faked robbery with serial numbers duly recorded and reported to the police.
For the most part the film follows the plot of This Gun For Hire even using a lot of the same lines. Jacques Aubuchon plays the Laird Cregar part of the fixer and he has the same aversion against seeing any of the violence he pays for.
A.C. Lyles who later became famous for producing all those B westerns with past their prime players produced this film and got none other than James Cagney to direct it in his only credit in that department. Cagney never went behind the camera again.
But I doubt even with the original cast of This Gun For Hire that he could have improved on what Frank Tuttle did in 1942.
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