In 1935, after forty years in a West Virginia prison, three released convicts wish to open a legitimate business using the twenty-five thousand dollars earned in jail, but a crooked prison guard in cahoots with the town banker plans to defraud them.
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When a trio of ex-convicts led by Mattie Appleyard is released from prison, they hope to open a general store using money Mattie has saved during his 40-year sentence. This attempt is met with great resistance from a corrupt prison official and the banker who issued Mattie the check.Written by
Greg Helton <email@example.com>
This film: Starts off, Typical STEWART- The very beginning of this film is almost Hitchcock-ian.
Stewart is a released convict who has saved $25,000 over the 40 years of his imprisonment. A "Murderer," he is accompanied by a "Bank Robber" Strother Martin and "Rapist" - A teenage Kurt Russel.
The year is 1935 and on release from work prison in "Glory," a fictional town in Virginia: they are "accompanied" (By Double Barreled Shotgun) to the train leaving town by bible-spouting (And slime encrusted) George Kennedy (With Really Nasty Ugly Shark-like Teeth).
As they board the train, Kennedy spouts threatening innuendo- And as the train begins to roll, we know that the train is not going to the intended rendezvous, and the suspense embedded in the film during this point, before we know exactly what is going to happen is very Hitchcock-ified. And this is where I stop lest there be spoilers.
Directed and Produced by Victor McLaglen's son Andrew: And so the homage to Hitchcock may or may not be intended as James Stewart had starred in no less than 4 Hitchcock films and was one of Hitch's best leading men.
The screen is graced also by an Anne Baxter under caked on makeup, which is rather great... She almost-reprises her role as Eve (All About Eve) in her greed... Which is not apparent at first, but once she finds out that there is a large sum of money floating about... The greed of the Baxter character is poetically dealt with in a most humorous fashion, and is a refreshing comical "Handle" for the viewer in the middle of this film.
Even through there are spots where the pace of the film seems to lag, this did not harm my interest in seeing what was going to happen at the end.
Production wise, it is obvious that this is an early 70's almost TV-like movie: The only thing that gives away the fact that this was a theatrical release was the Wide Screen Aspect Ratio.
This is well worth seeing, especially if you watch Vertigo first. Wonderful Film.
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