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

Thursday, August 26, 2010


DESPERATE (1947). Director: Anthony Mann.

Steve Randall (Steve Brodie) is a married trucker who innocently gets involved in a warehouse robbery because of an old school chum, Walt Radak (Raymond Burr), who heads a group of thieves, one of whom is Radak's younger brother. First Radak hopes to set up Randall for the cop-murder committed by his brother, then decides he just wants to kill him -- and pursues him and his wife (Audrey Long) to a farmhouse where her aunt and uncle reside. One problem with the movie is that the lead character is an idiot, consistently doing one stupid thing after another and getting in deeper and deeper. Still, the movie has some suspense, the performances are competent, and Burr offers one of his most vivid portrayals. Jason Robards [Sr] plays the cop assigned to the case. NOTE: This is one of the films on Film Noir Classic Collection Volume 5.

Verdict: Minor but well-done. **1/2.

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