Helped by socialite Janice Kendon, Arizona Deputy Sheriff Les Martin works to solve three brutal murders in and around the Grand Canyon. His efforts lead to the killer fleeing with Janice as a hostage, and a chase by car and helicopter leading to a climax on a miner's bucket on cables a mile above the canyon floor.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Opening credits: The characters and incidents portrayed and the names used herein are fictitious, and any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely accidental and unintentional. See more »
At the beginning of the story the dark-suited man pulls up and stops his 1949 Buick. The car that later goes over the cliff is a 1950 model. See more »
Unusual outdoor suspenser from Columbia studios, guided by sure-hand of cult director Don Siegel. It's a super-slick production that makes great scenic use of the magnificent Grand Canyon. Nothing profound or head-scratching here, just A-grade movie entertainment.
A string of mysterious murders in a remote Arizona ghost town has deputy Cornel Wilde flummoxed and sheriff Edgar Buchanan about to lose his job. Add to that the sassy and beauteous Victoria Shaw in red-haired Technicolor, gabby bartender Mickey Shaugnessy, and professional hick Tom Fadden, and you've got a cast lively enough to compete with the compelling scenery. Even the stolid Wilde loosens up more than usual, though his countrified accent sort of comes and goes.
Great staging. I really liked the scene at the abandoned mine, where Shaw explains what happened to the fabled gold-mining industry after the war. This may be the only screenplay to take up that topic, which seems odd given the metal's rich role in the settling of the West. So if you're curious about why the industry suddenly disappeared from the American landscape, this is the movie to catch.
The episode in the "dancing bucket" is a real hair-raiser. If I recall a book correctly, Shaw was terrified of doing those high-wire scenes and Siegel had to go to some lengths to get them shot. Given the heights involved, that's not surprising. Anyway, there's action, mystery and plenty to look at including Miss Shaw who unfortunately died much too young. So if you've got a spare 90 minutes, scope out the kind of movie Hollywood was making back when Cinemascope was trying to lure audiences away from the little screen.
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