Thursday, January 27, 2011
CRIME WAVE (1954). Director: Andre De Toth.
Ex-con Steve Lacey (Gene Nelson) is trying to build a new life with his wife when former inmates show up and force him to participate in a bank robbery. Sterling Hayden is the cop who leans on Lacey in an attempt to get the goods on the bad guys. Charles Bronson is a murderous hood, and the wonderful Jay Novello is a vet who comes afoul of the gang and Bronson. Song and dance man Nelson gives a solid performance, as does Hayden and Phyllis Kirk as Nelson's wife. Lacey's actions are occasionally inexplicable and the picture just misses being special.
Verdict: Minor but absorbing film noir. **1/2.