Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


BACKFIRE (1950). Director: Vincent Sherman.

Bob Corey (Gordon MacRae) is recovering from serious injuries in the hospital with the help of pretty nurse Julie Benson (Virginia Mayo), when he realizes that his good friend Steve (Edmond O'Brian), with whom he'd planned to go into business, has disappeared. A mysterious woman sneaks into his room and tells Bob that Steve has also been seriously injured and needs his help. Bob and Julie then begin an increasingly dangerous search for the missing Steve, encountering a variety of suspicious types along the way, then learn that Steve is suspected of murder. Ed Begley plays the cop on the case, Dane Clark is another friend, Viveca Lindfors is a pretty singer being kept by a dangerous gangster, and Shela Stephens [who later became Shelia MacRae and turned up as Alice Kramden on the color Honeymooners] is Bonnie, a snappy nightclub employee who tries to help Bob. The featured cast members all turn in good performances and there are a whole host of flavorful character actors in supporting roles and bit parts as well. There are confusing flashbacks, it's all rather convoluted, but the picture has some suspense and will hold your attention. NOTE: This is one of eight films on Warner Brothers' new Film Noir Classic Collection Volume 5.

Verdict; Very good acting puts this over. ***.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi William,
while I like reading your reviews a lot, this has nothing to do with any of them. I need help from an expert. At the beginning of this Warren Zevon appearance, there are two very short clips from what looks like a 50's b/w movie with a tall masked man with black glasses. Could you, please, identify for me what movie this comes from. I'd really love to know.

Many thanks and take care,