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

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Kent Taylor
WESTERN PACIFIC AGENT (1950). Director: Sam Newfield.

Bill Stuart (Robert Lowery), a payroll agent for the Western Pacific railroad, is murdered by a hood named Frank Wicken (Mickey Knox). Agent Rod Kendall (Kent Taylor) investigates this murder as well as the death of an elderly railroad worker, also attributed to Wicken. Frank's father, store owner Joe Wicken (Morris Carnovsky of Cornered), suspects what his son has done, but loves him too much to turn him in. Kendall organizes a manhunt for the desperate Frank among the "bindlestiffs," or migrant workers who ride the rails, that doesn't end well. Western Pacific Agent is a minor film from Lippert that boasts a stand-out performance from Mickey Knox and a nice score from Albert Glasser. Kent Taylor [Gangbusters] is fine, and there are also small roles for Sheila Ryan and, unfortunately, Sid Melton [Lost Continent], playing a comedy-relief character who wears out his welcome almost immediately.

Verdict: Acceptable minor B movie but little more. **1/2.

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