Welcome to William Schoell's GREAT OLD MOVIES blog. Feel free to leave a comment regardless of the date the review was posted -- I read 'em all. Or if you prefer -- and especially if you have any questions directly for me -- email me at tawses67424@mypacks.net and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Click on a label link (labels can be found at the bottom of each post) to find other movies from that year, the star, that director or genre and so on. Or enter a title, director, genre, star or supporting player in the small Blogger "search blog" box at the far left up above and click search blog. [NOTE: While this blog mostly reviews films -- and TV shows -- that are at least twenty-five years old, we do cover films up until the present day.] HAVE FUN AND THANKS FOR DROPPING BY. William.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


Barbara Hale and Gene Barry
THE HOUSTON STORY (1956). Director: William Castle.

Frank Duncan (Gene Barry), a wannabee player, interests the mob in his plan to steal oil and winds up bogged deeper and deeper in corruption. This is an entertaining, fairly fast-paced crime thriller with good performances from Barry and the rest of the cast. Edward Arnold scores as the mobster Paul Atlas, as does Frank Jenks as Barry's old buddy Louie. Jeanne Cooper is customarily saucy and fine as a waitress that Duncan dallies with but it's Barbara Hale who provides the biggest surprise. Usually cast as comparatively bland good girls (a la "Della Street" on TV's Perry Mason) in this she's a sexed-up blond singer and bad girl Zoe and she seems to be having a ball playing the part. Paul Richards is also vivid as Duncan's rival, Gordy. Some exciting chases and fight scenes.

Verdict: Barbara runs off with the picture! **1/2.

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