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||IMDB Rating: 7.4/10 from 1,857 votes
||Release: 6 March 1954 (USA) /
||Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
||Director: André De Toth,
||Stars: Charles Bronson, Dub Taylor, Gayle Kellogg, Gene Nelson, James Bell, Jay Novello, Mack Chandler, Nedrick Young, Phyllis Kirk, Sterling Hayden, Ted de Corsia
||Synopsis: Three San Quentin escapees (Penny, Hastings and Morgan) kill a cop in a gas-station holdup. Wounded, Morgan flees through black-shadowed streets to the handiest refuge: with former cellmate Steve Lacey, who's paroled, with a new life and lovely wife, and can't afford to be caught associating with old cronies. But homicide detective Sims wants to use Steve to help him catch Penny and Hastings, who in turn extort his help in a bank job. Is there no way out for Steve? Written by Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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This is excellent example of film noir: almost everything you'd want in
this genre. Right from the opening shot, this had noir written all over
it by cinematographer Bert Glennon, and from opening holdup-murder
scene at the gas station, you knew you were in for a rough ride.
Speaking of "rough," I can't think of too many actors who were better
and more suited for noir than Sterling Hayden, who delivers yet another
uncompromising hard-headed, tough- guy character. This time he's a cop,
"Det. Lt. Sims," and one with no use for any "con," even if the guy (in
this case, Gene Nelson's "Steve Lacey") has cleaned up his act.
It wasn't just the photography and Haden, the entire cast was
fascinating, and it's simply a fast-moving, entertaining film. Andre de
Toth's direction also was terrific. He directed only one other noir:
Pitfall, another great film that we are still waiting to see on DVD. At
least this film finally made it to disc.
I had forgotten what classic beauty Phyllis Kirk possessed. Wow, what a
face! She starred as "Nora Charles" on the popular "Thin Man"
television series in the '50s. In here, she plays Lacey's wife "Ellen."
Rather that going through the whole cast, I'll just say it was a hoot
to see Timothy Carey again, even if his role was limited. This guy
played the most whacked-out minor characters I've ever seen in movies.
(See "The Killing" for a good example of what I mean.) Jay Novello as
the veterinarian ex-con also was really interesting.
I'll tell you what else was nice: the realistic scenes with actual
locations around Los Angeles in the early '50s. This movie had a number
of hand-held camera shots. Even the holdup in the bank was done in a
real bank. There are few, if any, hokey studio shots in this movie.
It's the real deal..... and very much recommended. Combined with
"Decoy" on the same disc, it makes for a nice double--feature for a
night of noir.
Tags for Crime Wave Full Movie
, Dub Taylor
, Gayle Kellogg
, Gene Nelson
, James Bell
, Jay Novello
, Mack Chandler
, Nedrick Young
, Phyllis Kirk
, Sterling Hayden
, Ted de Corsia
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