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

Thursday, October 17, 2013

THE CROOKED WEB

Lovejoy, Blanchard and Denning on the road
















THE CROOKED WEB (1955). Director: Nathan Juran.

Joanie (Mari Blanchard) works for boyfriend Stanley (Frank Lovejoy) in his drive-in. Along comes her ne'er-do-well brother Frank (Richard Denning) who knows a way they can all make a lot of money if Stanley is willing to kick in. Thus begins a saga that eventually lands the trio in post-war Germany. The best thing about The Crooked Web is the first half hour which has more than one twist that turns bad guys into good guys and vice versa. [Warning: the imdb.com synopsis gives the twist away, as it often does.] The rest is a fairly routine crime melodrama that has a modicum of suspense but is comparatively flat. The three lead performances are all quite good, however, with Blanchard especially zesty as the gal who's looking for "security" any way she can get it. Harry Lauter [Trader Tom of the China Seas] is an Army sergeant, and Roy Gordon [War of the Colossal Beast] plays the father of a murdered M.P.

Verdict: If only the twists had kept coming ... **1/2.

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