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

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Endangered family: Jane Wyatt, Dick Powell and Jimmy Hunt
PITFALL (1948). Director: Andre de Toth.

Insurance man John Forbes (Dick Powell) has a loving wife, Sue (Jane Wyatt) and an adorable little boy (Jimmy Hunt), but he's restless and bored, and feels he's in a rut. He goes to see Mona Stevens (Lizabeth Scott) in hopes of getting back some of the gifts her embezzling boyfriend Bill (Byron Barr) bought her with stolen loot, and the two are attracted to one another. This infuriates the bulky private eye "Mac" (Raymond Burr), who has an unrequited -- and dangerous -- infatuation with Mona, leading to melodramatic complications. The acting from all is fine in the movie -- Raymond Burr pretty much walks off with the picture -- but the trouble is its completely unimaginative presentation. The only really memorable scene is when the menacing Mac comes to the dress shop where Mona is a model and forces her to show off some sexy numbers for him. Speaking of which, this is directed by the numbers. Barr had a supporting role in Double Indemnity and was also in Follow That Woman and others.

Verdict: Good performances but still kind of blah. **1/2.

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