Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Split Second

(1953, USA, 85m, b/w)
d Dick Powell p Edmund Grainger sc William Bowers, Irving Wallace ph Nicholas Musuraca ed Robert Ford ad Albert d’Agostino, Jack Okey m Roy Webb cast Stephen McNally, Alexis Smith Jan Sterling, Keith Andes, Arthur Hunnicutt, Robert Paige, Richard Egan, Paul Kelly

A terrific atomic-age b-movie noir, tough-talking, and with a vicious streak. Escaped psychopath McNally takes hostage a bland reporter (Andes) and his no-nonsense pick-up (Sterling), followed closely by bad dame Alexis Smith and the insurance guy taking her to Reno for her divorce, second string B-actors all. With two other gangsters and irrelevant old-timey prospector Hunnicutt, car space is an issue: they’re holed up in a ghost town on an atomic testing site in Nevada, and H-hour is 6.00am. The group is nicely drawn, the dialogue to the point, and tension rises steadily to an almost mystical pay-off, dragging God into the atomic age, rather as the shrinking man would do four years later. Somewhat surprisingly it was directed by Dick Powell, a crooning hoofer if ever there was one, but with just enough complexity to his toughness as Dymytyk’s Marlowe; the subsequent movies he directed were indifferent, but working short and sharp with Hughes’s well-oiled machine (just before the nosedive), he gets it right first time out.

© Time Out Film Guide


Tweet This ! (Click On It For Url Shortening) Share On Facebook ! Share On Google Buzz ! Add To ! Share On Digg ! Share On Reddit ! Share On LinkedIn ! Post To Blogger ! Share On StumbleUpon ! Share On Friend Feed ! Share On MySpace ! Share On Yahoo Buzz ! Share On Google Reader ! Google Bookmark ! Send An Email !


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older