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Plot:

Questioned as a murder suspect, solid (but drunk) citizen Al Willis attacks his police questioners, is beaten, and swears vengeance against them. Next night, Lieut. Parks is murdered; Willis is the only suspect in the eyes of tough Chief Conroy, who pursues him doggedly despite lack of evidence. The obsessed Conroy is dismissed from the force, but continues to harass Willis, who flees to a sleazy town on the Mexican border. Of course, Conroy follows. But which is crazy, Conroy or Willis?

Also Known As: La última coartada, Goli alibi, Politiet er min fjende, Schwaches Alibi, Dangereux alibi, Anatomia di un delitto, The Tight Squeeze, Naked Alibi, Okänd mördare, Gevaarlijk alibi, Alibi, Alibi dezvelit, Cry Copper, Schwaches Alibi West, Astynomikes pagides, Alibi meurtrier, Fúria Assassina, Vaarallinen alibi

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  • efrem-vernidub
    efrem vernidub

    I saw this film many years ago in England and remember being shocked by it. Saw it once in France under the title “Alibi Meurtrier”. It’s a good film but I could not tolerate Hayden’s “manipulation” of Gloria Grahame. Since that time, every time I see Sterling Hayden’s face in a film I am filled with hate for this man !! But decors and music are good and the whole thing is a good example of a pessismistic film or ‘film noir”.

  • cameron-hanson
    cameron hanson

    This is a film for Gloria Grahame fans (of which I am one). GG looks great and she does give us a very convincing performance here, even though director Jerry Hopper doesn’t seem to be trying very hard with the other players. Sterling Hayden walks through his role in an unnecessarily sullen manner. Admittedly, the script is somewhat implausible. Even though it has some promising plot ideas, it lets other opportunities go by, and there are inconsistencies and even errors in the telling — most of which could have been avoided had more care been exercised in the writing. All the same, Jerry Hopper’s direction is more classy than usual. No doubt he was inspired by Russell Metty’s superb film noir lighting.

  • sepp-van-dalem
    sepp van dalem

    ****SPOILERS*** Being arrested and roughed up by the police especially after smashing Let. Park’s, Casey Adams, face in with a coffee cup accused vagrant and drinking in public Al Willis, Gene Berry, is released due to lack of evidence. It’s the next day that Parks is gunned down by an unknown assailant and a few days later two other cop are killed in a car bombing that has Willis, who claimed to get even with the police department for manhandled him, arrested as a suspect for all three murders. As we see Willis is as he always claims to be as innocent as the morning snow or is it dew but it’s Chief of Detectives Joe Conroy, Sterling Hayden, who doesn’t buy Willis’ story.Going overboard in trying to arrest Willis for the murder of the three cops has Conroy suspended from the force and ordered to get a forced, by the department, psychological examination before he’s allowed to get back to work. While on ice, or suspension, Conroy goes out on his own to get the goods on Willis whom he’s sure is the one who murdered his three fellow policemen. This lead to this honky tonk town on the Mexican/USA border where Willis who works as a baker on the US side is the head mob boss there. There’s also Willis’ girlfriend Marianna, Gloria Grahame, who can’t stand the guy but is terrified of leaving him in that if she did he’ll murder her! ****SPOILERS*** Working behind the scenes, until he’s discovered, Conroy gets to have Marianna, with a couple of free drinks, to talk about her boyfriend Willis’ crimes including the one where he gunned down Let.Parks and even more important where he hid the murder weapon. Which is all the proof that Conroy needs to arrest him. Besides being a cold blooded murderer Willis isn’t that bright either. Where he could have easily disposed of the gun he murdered Parks with he instead hid it in of all paces a local church! That Willis he attended not to pray but use as a alibi for where he was at the time that he in fact murdered Let. Parks. With the murder weapon recovered by Conroy Willis makes a run for it not on the street but on the neighbor rooftops where he’s a perfect target for the perusing police. Gene Barry in one of the most craziest roles in his entire both film & TV career does a great job playing the Dr. Jekyll & Mister Hyde-like Al Willis who’s so crazy it’s a miracle that he can hold down two jobs, as a baker and mob boss, at the same time without anyone around, with the exception of the mentally and physically abused Marianna, noticing just who unstable he is. It’s the suspended Chief of Detectives Joe Conroy who saw right from the start just how dangerous Wilis was and never stopped for a moment in trying to get the goods on him as well as have him arrested. That had the already not that on the ball, in his mental capacity, Willis crack and thus blow his cover as him being a perfectly normal and law abiding citizen which has him blown away at the end of the movie.

  • noelia-perello-nevado
    noelia perello nevado

    This is top-notch noir. The queen of the femme fatales, Gloria Grahame is perfectly cast in this sleazefest. Even the miscast Gene Barry (Bat Masterson, War of the Worlds) as a really bad guy is very good in the film as well. It was amusing to see Chuck Conners (The Rifleman, The Big Country) as a cop; a role he was well-suited for. He was a much better actor than baseball player. The story is pretty good with one exception; why would you hold on to a gun that killed a cop if you were wealthy? The escalation of violence and the gruff Sterling Hayden (perfectly cast) harassing the suspect from the beginning of the film without let-up is perfectly logical, although not legally sound. The film is in the top echelon of this genre; don’t miss it.

  • t-ornike-kincurashvili
    t ornike kincurashvili

    If you were ever curious to see what a tough black & white thriller about a rogue cop as produced by Ross Hunter would look like, look no further. At first it resembles a gritty noir about police brutality like ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends’, with Sterling Hayden in full pycho-cop mode. But if the plot is really going the way it seems, the next hour is going to be awfully predictable. So… but don’t let me spoil it for you. The three main characters all shape up reasonably satisfactorily while much of the fun is in trying to anticipate what improbable new developments the writers are going to dream up as they work towards a suitably dramatic climax.

  • ryan-zavala
    ryan zavala

    The movie could be subtitled:”things are not what they seem”.When we meet the two principals,we do feel for Al.We do think the cop is a psychotic,or someone trying to find a scapegoat .How could a man so nice ,so honest,who works in a bakery,who’s got a wife and kids,who is a believer and who goes to church ,be a cops killer?During the first part,we side with him and we think that Conroy is going off the rails (he might be the killer himself).With the appearance of Gloria Grahame ,we see things differently.What?An honest faithful man still in love with a shady singer singing a tune called “ace in the hole” ?It’s really a U-turn.The depiction of the characters is nothing but derivative and the three leads are excellent ,with a firm directing ,an atmosphere where they exude hatred from every pore ,and an impressive finale on the roofs.

  • mr-adam-gonzalez-dds
    mr adam gonzalez dds

    Sterling Hayden was the image of male masculinity in such films as “The Asphalt Jungle,” “The Killing,” and “The Godfather.” Tall at 6 foot 5 inches, well built, ruggedly handsome in the true sense, Hayden rarely cracked a smile or betrayed a tender emotion. He had screen presence, and that strong image serves him well in 1954’s “Naked Alibi.” Hayden is Chief of Detectives Joe Conroy, who has been accused of police brutality, an easily believable offense. When Al Willis, a local baker, is pulled in and roughed up by his subordinates, Hayden looks on impassively. Played by Gene Barry, Willis has a devoted wife and a child; his arrest is evidently wrongful, and he is released. When the policeman who roughed up Willis is shot later that night, Hayden immediately hones in on Willis as guilty. With a screenplay by Laurence Roman from a story by J. Robert Bren and Gladys Atwater, “Naked Alibi” plays with the audience. When the police come to arrest Willis after the fatal shooting, he runs, but is caught and brought in again. However, without evidence and under pressure from above, Hayden is forced to release Willis one more time. When two more officers are killed in a bomb blast, Hayden tails and harasses the sympathetic Willis, who seems intent on managing his bakery, tending his family, and remaining a model citizen. However, when Hayden is caught in a photo assaulting Willis, he is fired from the force. Undaunted and convinced by gut instinct of Willis’s guilt, Hayden follows Willis, when he unexpectedly leaves town and goes to sleazy Border Town, where, in El Perico, a local dive, pouty singer Gloria Grahame appears on the scene as Marianna, and, to coin a phrase, the plot thickens and starts to boil.The action unfolds against the deep shadows and dramatic lighting of Russell Metty’s cinematography, which provides some stunning black and white images. Surprisingly produced by Ross Hunter, the man usually behind lush Lana Turner weepies, “Naked Alibi” is well paced by director Jerry Hopper, who went on to become a prolific director on television. However, the film belongs to Sterling Hayden. Tough and brutal, Hayden is central to the film’s success, although Gloria Grahame is also excellent, and Gene Barry is appropriately ambiguous in the pivotal role of Willis. As a bonus, fans of “The Rifleman” will be pleased to spot Chuck Connors in a small role as a police captain. While not at the heights of the best Sterling Hayden classics, “Naked Alibi” is nonetheless a crackling police pursuit drama that engages and entertains.

  • brady-brown
    brady brown

    An effective, gritty noir entry, containing all the hallmarks of the genre; dim shadowy basements, murky night scenes. Hard-boiled, vilified cop Sterling Hayden treads a solitary path in pursuit of the murderer of three of his fellow officers. Glorious Gloria Grahame is splendid as the spirited gangster’s moll slapped around by bully-boy Barry, who like many of life’s more dubious products contrives to fall off the back of a lorry.

  • renata-voinea
    renata voinea

    Every time I saw Gloria Grahame on screen, it didn’t matter if she was playing a misunderstood good girl leading a bad life or an all-out bad girl. I always was concerned that for some reason she’d either end up on the receiving end of more than just hot coffee, or brutally beaten up and seeking revenge, ultimately paying for that hard-boiled emotion. Grahame walked around as if she knew on screen that her days were numbered, and this film is no exception. She’s the abused girlfriend of suspected cop-killer Gene Barry, and is utilized in an attempt to trap him by cop in hiding Sterling Hayden. Of course, Barry is a jealous maniac so when he gets wind of presumed alliances with any other man, Grahame ends up having a date with his enclosed fist.This is your ordinary “let’s bring down the psycho crook!” saga that has a shocking moment involving a car bombing. Barry claims that he’s been framed, but unsubstantiated evidence that Hayden and his units have make them suspect otherwise. The three leads are absolutely outstanding, given complex characterizations that make some very interesting to follow. However, it’s downright predictable, and had it featured weaker performers, I would have mark this down a bit in my ranking. Graham gets to sing a song, and it is obvious that she is dubbed, but that makes no difference here. It’s her acting which often ranged between brilliant and melodramatic (see the same years “The Cobweb” as evidence of her braying persona that sometimes took over on screen), but here, she truly gets to sink her teeth into a role that she comes into with gusto and comes out smelling like a rose even though her character is definitely tragic.

  • avdeev-galaktion-fedotovich
    avdeev galaktion fedotovich

    Finally caught up with this on AMC. I wish Sterling Hayden had focused more on his Hollywood career, instead of returning to the sea from time-to-time. He’s easily in the league of the Noir “Roberts” (Taylor, Ryan, Mitchum)…with a little JohnWayne to boot. Good picture….not *really* Film Noire….and not Gloria Grahame’s best.doc

  • grace-wiley
    grace wiley

    The title “Naked Alibi” is a very strange one, as back in the day you’d never see naked people in mainstream Hollywood films and there is nothing naked whatsoever in the movie. Don’t let that stop you from watching it, as it’s an excellent and gritty film noir story.When the film begins, police captain Joe Conroy (Sterling Hayden) is investigating a case where a lieutenant was brutally murdered. He thinks Al Willis (Gene Barry) is responsible–after all, he’s a HUGE hot-head and he had a grudge against this dead cop. Soon, two more cops are brutally murdered and Willis appears to be the likely suspect. But, when Conroy is fired for police brutality, he’s determined to follow Willis into Mexico and prove he’s a psycho killer. However, he’s no longer a cop and has no jurisdiction…and Willis has a gang waiting for him. All Conroy has is a dame (Gloria Graham) and her kid!The film works well because Sterling Hayden (as usual) is excellent in these sorts of tough-guy roles. Additionally, Barry is very good as a scum-bag and the script keeps you on edge. Not a great film but certainly a good one worth your time.

  • julio-solsona-vallejo
    julio solsona vallejo

    Has this ever happened to you? I go into my local video store and see a few new arrivals in the “film noir” section. I spy a copy of a new arrival of a film I have never seen called NAKED ALIBI. Its from one of those mail order video companies that offers (mostly) “dupey” looking copies of hard to find titles. The description on the box sounds good. The film has players I like (Sterling Hayden, Gloria Grahame, and Gene Barry). So I take it home and watch it. About ten minutes into this film I started having second thoughts. About half way through this film I started to dislike it. By the time the film ended, I not only disliked it, I despised it. The film opens with cops questioning Al Willis on suspicion of robbery. Other than being drunk, the police have nothing on him. When he pushes a cop and demands to be allowed to go home, the cops beat him up. Detective Conroy arrives, lets the cops finish the beating and then announces Willis is in the clear. Willis swears he will get revenge. Later one of the police officers is shot dead. With no evidence other that Willis is “sore” about the beating, Conroy make Willis his sole suspect, despite the fact that his boss names a pair of mobsters as suspects. Conroy arrests him, but for lack evidence Willis is released. The next day two more cops are killed by a bomb. This time Conroy goes to the Bakery that Willis owns and tries to beat a confession out of him. Conroy doesn’t know it but a local newsman whose paper has been accusing Conroys department of police brutality snaps a picture of Conroy trying strangle Willis and Conroy is fired. But Conroy continues his pursuit and Willis flees to Mexico where Willis has a mistress. Conroy manages to convince his mistress (who Willis treats rather rough) to help him prove Willis is a killer. What this film lacks is a convincing script. The script looks as if only a rough draft was written and shooting began before a finished script was completed. Things happen, characters personalities change, plot twists occur for no real reason other than that script calls for it. Other than the fact that Willis likes to tip a glass now and than, there is nothing in the early part of the film to make us think that he is a crazy killer that cheats on his wife. He treats his wife, his kid and employees well. Early in the film, one gets the impression that its Conroy is the one whose is a loose cannon. He seems to casually approve of police brutality. Conroy, for no reason is convinced from the very start Willis has criminal past. He seems to operate on the motto of the old Communist Bulgarian secret police; “Everyone is guilty of something, we just have not found out about it yet.” Later Conroy shows kindness to Al’s mistress and young son, now we are supposed to like him. Sorry! The early impression I got of Conroy stuck with me too long. And he is also a dumb cop. Only after he is fired and goes to Mexico does he run a background check on Willis and discovers that a warrant is out for him issued in Maryland. Why didn’t he think of this before? Because this film hadn’t used up enough running time. The cast is good. Gene Barry does well considering how poorly conceived his role of Al Willis is. I’m big fan of 40’s and 50’s crime thrillers but not only did I not think this film was good, it left a bad taste in my mouth (something many modern films do, but older films rarely do).

  • natalja-smirnov
    natalja smirnov

    This is an underrated film noir that hasn’t gotten much exposure within the genre. Sterling Hayden and Gloria Graham were well known performers in the genre at the time and they both do an excellent job in this film. But the big surprise to me was Gene Barry as the duplicitous criminal and supposed religious family man. When I was growing up in the 1960’s, Gene Barry was a very familiar face on TV. He starred in numerous TV dramas such as Burke’s Law, The Adventurer, and The Name of the Game. These were very predictable TV dramas where Barry often played virtuous characters fighting criminals. He was the epitome of the bland corporate TV actor. But in Naked Alibi, Barry portrays a much more conflicted character and he rises to the occasion. It does an excellent job in his role. What has often amazed me is how actors that were so good in low budget film noir movies in the 1950’s eventually became stuck in vacuous and uninspiring roles on TV in the 60’s. It is probably the greatest shame of American TV and movie culture that talented actors were forced into unimaginative and simplistic roles just so they could survive. Gene Barry is a perfect example of someone who could have had a great acting career if he hadn’t been destroyed by Hollywood.

  • johans-zarins
    johans zarins

    A grimly determined homicide detective tries to nab a suspected cop-killer, even after getting kicked off the force. Although there are some implausible plot elements, this is a pretty good noir. It’s anchored by stellar performances from Sterling Hayden (in a part quite similar to his role in CRIME WAVE, from the same year) and the great Gloria Grahame (whose character is rather suspiciously close to her part in THE BIG HEAT, from the previous year). Gene Barry is very good too, although I can’t say much about him without spoiling things. The film takes an unpredictable second act twist, at least it was far different from what I was expecting, which was more of a LOOPHOLE scenario. Grahame’s entrance is strange — she looks a bit awkward doing the nightclub singer shtick, but perhaps it suits her character to be uncomfortable in that position. The story is paced very well and has some brutal scenes, fine cinematography and generally good dialogue. Maybe not one of the greats, but definitely worth checking out, especially for Grahame fans.

  • podnieks-laimonis
    podnieks laimonis

    With having seen actor Sterling Hayden mentioned in a number of posts on various IMDb boards for the last few months,I was thrilled,when a DVD seller revealed that he had recently tracked down a near forgotten Hayden Film Noir,which led to me getting ready to see an alibi undress.The plot:Attempting to beat a confession out of him, Chief Joe Conroy and his fellow police officers find out that due to a strong alibi and a lack of evidence,that Al Willis must be freed from his cell.Shortly after Willis is freed,two of the officers that beat him up are killed.Suspecting Willis,Conroy goes to interrogate Willis,but is caught in a photo threatening him,which leads to Conroy getting fired from the force.Trusting his instincts,Conroy decides to go above the law and secretly follow Willis.Quickly finding out that Willis has suddenly decided to stay in a different town for a few days,Conroy decides to follow Willis on his “travels” in the hope of being able to finally undress his alibi.View on the film:For the opening 30 minutes,the screenplay by Lawrence Roman, J. Robert Bren and Gladys Atwater offers a tantalising glimpse that the movie may give the characters a real moral ambiguity,thanks to Conroy acting more like a real gangster than Willis ever does.Disappointingly ,once Conroy and Willis head to a new town,the writers give up on any criss-crossing morals,and instead give them each clear moral lines,which whilst they lead to a nice,downbeat Film Noir ending,do lead to the movie really struggling to build any tension.Matching Jerry Hooper’s rather stilted directing, Hayden gives an unexpected stoic performance as Conroy,with Hayden giving Conroy a calmness when the character should have a real thirst for Willis blood.Keeping the character away from any hint of being straight-lace, Gene Barry gives a very good maniacal, smirking performance as Willis,with Barry showing Willis increasing desperation to keep his alibi naked.

  • guillermo-cristian-roldan
    guillermo cristian roldan

    For the first half of this movie we get a rather ordinary policier, with “innocent” Gene Barry seemingly the victim of Bad Lieutenant Sterling Hayden’s obsessive violence- Hayden suspects Barry of being a cop killer. Hayden’s temper gets him the sack. Things perk up considerably when Barry goes on the run to the border and seeks out old flame Gloria Grahame – and her advent livens things up immensely. We first see her in a sleazy border bar miming and shimmying her way through “ace in the hole”, spaghetti straps straining, mouth pouting, earrings dangling. Its an amazing entrance and the director knows it – following her after the number finishes as she fends off drunks and exits the bar to wander back to her room, where Barry surprises her – her complaints about his negligence in the lover department are stilled by a swift slap round her chops – and she of course kisses him more passionately and drags him into the room… discreet fadeout. That whole sequence is essence of Gloria – its all there – the masochistic sexuality, the wisecracks, the wiggling, the face half in shadows, the tawdry glamour, – and my god – that shimmy . The remainder of the film offers few surprises, including Gloria stopping a bullet to aid the hero and expiring glamorously in his arms but it was designed as a follow up to The Big Heat and the public liked it enough to make it a hit.

  • luc-du-lejeune
    luc du lejeune

    The Naked Alibi wastes some potentially terrific talents by forcing them into last-ditch, half-hearted retreads of characters and situations that had already, by 1954 and halfway down the leeward slope of the noir cycle, been done to death – often, in fact, done by these very same actors. That Nordic giant Sterling Hayden, never easy to cast, gives a reprise of a role – the angry cop – that suited him so well he encored it several times, taking his final bow in 1972 in The Godfather. (And, as nasty cops go, maybe only Robert Ryan played it nastier.) Gloria Grahame’s kittenish victim had become by this time a staple of the cycle, but it’s almost always good to watch her anyway. But so hot on the heels of Fritz Lang’s The Big Heat, her role in The Naked Alibi looks very much like the larcenous knock-off that it is, right down to the final, poignant fadeout (and it doesn’t help when she makes her entrance – as a nightclub canary – using a dubbed voice).The plot, which loses more credibility every time it takes a new turn, concerns the murder of police officers a smallish California city. Hayden’s prime suspect is Gene Barry, but this church-going baker with a submissive wifey fools everybody else. Dogging him relentlessly, Hayden gets thrown off the force and, free-lancing, follows Barry to a wide-open town on the Mexican border where the suspect leads a double life, involving Grahame. Inevitably, Hayden gets involved with her too. Barry finally flashes his true colors and he joins Hayden in pursuing their mutual vendetta. But the working out is perfunctory and predictable, and it goes to show that even marquee stars can’t salvage a tired, derivative piece of filmmaking.

  • wanda-davis
    wanda davis

    Naked Alibi is directed by Jerry Hopper and adapted to screenplay by Lawrence Roman from the story “Cry Copper” by Gladys Atwater and J. Robert Bren. It stars Sterling Hayden, Gloria Grahame, Gene Barry and Marcia Henderson. Music is by Joseph Gershenson and cinematography by Russell Metty.Urgh! It’s one of those lesser grade film noir movies from the classic cycle that should have been super, but isn’t. It’s also a Sterling Hayden film that gives his knockers ammunition to call him wooden, yet the tedious direction of Hooper and all round over staging of the production is what’s at fault here.Plot has Barry (over acting) as a suspected cop killer who walks free to apparently wreak more misery on the police force. Hayden’s stoic and robust detective is not having a bit of it and becomes obsessed with bringing Barry’s edgy character to justice. Grahame slinks into view in shapely fashion after half hour of film, to naturally stir the hornet’s nest still further.The potential is there for a hot-to-trot noir of psychological substance, a peek under the skin of men teetering on the thin line separating good and bad. Sadly it’s all so laborious and fake, the male actors indulging in what I call auto-cue acting as they act out badly staged scenes. Grahame comes out of it relatively unscathed, while Metty gives the production an atmosphere it doesn’t deserve with some slats and shads dalliances. But really it’s average at best and the cast are wasted. 5/10

  • univ-prof-selma-ravn
    univ prof selma ravn

    I’m not sure how Universal slipped this one past the Bureau of Consumer Protection, but they did. Despite the title’s bold claim, this 1954 crime drama features absolutely no nudity or alibis – clothed or unclothed. On the plus side, it does co-star the deliciously sexy Gloria Grahame, but on the minus side it’s a very poorly written part which does nothing to showcase her particular talents. She plays Marianna, a saloon singer in a sleazy town on the US side of the Mexican border, who manages to get herself involved with both an ex-cop (Sterling Hayden) and the suspected cop-killer (Gene Barry) he is obsessively pursuing. Even by the often convoluted standards of film noir (which this movie aspires to be) plotting, the story makes little sense, but there’s little else to distract the attention. Hayden sleepwalks through his part with the air of an actor focusing on his paycheck rather than the script’s obvious flaws, while Barry struggles unsuccessfully to create some sort of plausible whole out of the many inconsistencies in his character. In one scene he’s a baker and family man wrongly accused by bullying detectives of murdering an officer, and in the next he’s a big shot gangster (without a gang or criminal purpose) on the Mexican border, splashing the cash, roughing up the locals, and inflicting his particularly aggressive brand of lovin’ on Miss Grahame. Quite how or why he leads this double life doesn’t trouble director Jerry Hopper. In fact, very little seems to bother Mr Hopper. Not the implausible plot, the waste of talent (Grahame and Hayden) or the film’s slapped-together-on-a-shoestring feel. NAKED ALIBI was shot in large part on the Universal back-lot and it looks it. The town square will be instantly recognizable from countless other movies made by the studio, while the border town’s back alleys and loading docks are littered with those empty wooden crates one only ever sees in such large numbers in low budget movies where they’re trying to fill in the space without spending money on props. Production values are so low that NAKED ALIBI plays more like a lackluster 1950s TV drama than a big screen entertainment. If Hopper thought he was contributing to the often stylish and memorable canon of low-budget film noir thrillers which many studios turned out in the early 1950s he was wrong. The confused plot, unimaginative camera-work and cast going through the motions put paid to that. For the Gloria Grahame completists among us this is a must-see, for everyone else there’s plenty of other, much more rewarding things, you could be doing with your time. Check out more of my reviews at http://thefilmivejustseen.blogspot.com/

  • anne-harris
    anne harris

    This is worth watching because Gloria Grahame is in it. But otherwise it is a rather disappointing noir. Gene Barry certainly manages to be very menacing and volatile as the bad guy. Sterling Hayden is rather wooden as the tough cop. But Gloria Grahame, though she is not particularly good at shimmying when she sings, keeps our attention with her pouty lip, her doubtful look, her slumbering voice, her worldly-wise fragility, and all those other qualities too numerous to mention which are irresistible about her. So consider this ‘a minor Gloria Grahame picture’ and it is at least able to entertain, if not to enthrall.

  • vladimir-bajc
    vladimir bajc

    Director Jerry Hopper with Stars: Sterling Hayden, Gloria Grahame, Gene Barry, Max Showalter, Marcia Henderson and Chuck Connors. Story is Al Willis (Barry) is picked up for drunk & disorderly conduct without ID and is in an interrogation room at the local Police Station being questioned about some robberies. A detective lieutenant (Showalter) is questioning the belligerent Willis. A scuffle results in Barry smacking Showalter in the head with an ashtray and threatening the cops that he will get even, the two other cops in the room subdue him just as Chief of Detectives Conroy (Hayden) walks into the room. Willis is identified as a good citizen and owner of a bakery, he apologizes for being drunk and is let go. Sometime later Showalter is gunned down in the street at a police call box. Conroy remembers Willis’s threat and hauls in him in after a brief chase. Conroy (who has a reputation for brutality) develops a hard-on for Willis convinced that he is the killer, but Willis and his lawyer pull strings and Willis is released. All hell breaks loose when the other two cops in the interrogation room are killed by a car bomb and Conroy is photographed attacking Willis. Conroy looses his job but becomes obsessed with “getting” Willis stalking him around town. Willis getting un-nerved decides to leave town and his wife (Henderson) and child to take a vacation away from Conroy. Up to this point the film effectively has you sympathizing with Willis against loose cannon Conroy, but when Willis ends up in “Border Town” and assumes a new identity and joins gal pal B-Girl chanteuse Marianna (Grahame) our perceptions change drastically. It would have helped if this film would have been shot more on actual locations as it is its almost all Universal back-lot, it picks up when it moves to “Border Town” (Tijuana) and Barry is revealed, but that location looks minimally used at best, it pales in comparison to say “Touch of Evil”. Its also one of those quasi Noirs that take place way too much in the sunshine for the first 3rd of the film (but hell they didn’t know we’d be debating Film Noir 60 years later). Barry is way better than I was expecting (showing a lot of range that I never saw in TV’s “Bat Masterson” or “Burke’s Law”), and Grahame & Hayden are great as usual, Connors plays Conroy’s second in command adequately, but the budget lets this film linger in the second tier of Noirs. Graham sings a song at the bar obviously a lip-sync, but she shakes that thing a bit doing it so who cares, lol. I’m a Gloria & Sterling fan so its an essential for me. 7/10

  • stian-lars-aasen
    stian lars aasen

    Two great film noir actors – Sterling Hayden and Gloria Grahame – star in this movie. Hayden is excellent as a tough cop bound-and-determined to get a killer than has been turned free (Gene Barry).Barry is very good as the criminal who falsely claims “police brutality.” In that respect, this movie was ahead of its day as that term became widely used two decades later.Overall, this a good film noir that’s a bit different from the normal fare, but certainly not different when it comes to great noir photography and good suspense. Where is the DVD of this film? (In fact, where was the VHS, in the first place?)