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

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Dana Andrews confronts Gary Merrill
WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS (1950). Producer/director: Otto Preminger.

Detective Mark Dixon (Dana Andrews) is a tough cop who has been warned once too often to use less force when "interviewing" suspects, but he goes too far and inadvertently kills a war hero with a plate in his head (Craig Stevens of Peter Gunn), then covers it up. As part of his investigation he meets the dead man's estranged wife, Morgan (Gene Tierney), whose father (Tom Tully) is arrested for the crime. Mark's guilt increases as he and the lovely Morgan are drawn to one another, and she worries terribly about a man whom Mark knows is innocent. Will he do the right thing? Where the Sidewalk Ends reunites the director and leads of Laura and is good enough that you don't even miss Clifton Webb. Andrews, Tierney, Gary Merrill (as a crook Mark has been trying to ensnare), and even Craig Stevens all give adept performances, and there is good support from Tully, Karl Malden and Bert Freed as cops, Eda Reiss Merin as Freed's wife, and Ruth Donnelly as a restaurant owner and friend of Mark's. More proof that Dana Andrews was an under-rated actor.

Verdict: Smooth romance-suspenser with some fine performances. ***.

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