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

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Dan Duryea
TERROR STREET (1953). Director: Montgomery Tully.

At the end of WW2 American Major Bill Rogers (Dan Duryea) falls in love with pretty Katie (Elsie Albiin). They get married, but shortly afterward Bill takes off for the U.S. to teach a course that will last three months; for some reason he can't take her with him. Three months stretches into a year, and Katie quite sensibly moves out and into her own apartment, where she falls in with the wrong crowd. When she is murdered, Bill goes on the run, getting help from a rather stupid mission lady named Jenny (Gudrun Ure). Then there's this business with smuggled diamonds and blackmail, none of which is very interesting. There is no suspense whatsoever since the real killer is revealed right during the scene when Katie is murdered. The  mis-titled Terror Street features an utterly unsympathetic lead character, and the script is quite poor, even for a Hammer film noir. Duryea [Chicago Calling] gives a comparatively indifferent performance, although he does have a nice moment when he goes over the mementos of their brief married life that Katie kept in a safety deposit box. The supporting performances are okay, with Kenneth Griffith a stand out as the very nervous Henry Slosson, whose uncle (Eric Pohlmann of The Gambler and the Lady) is an antique dealer with a decidedly dubious sideline. John Chandos is cast as Orville Hart, a crook who masquerades as a customs official. Harold Lang (not to be confused with the American actor) makes his mark as a room clerk who loves to listen in to other people's phone conversations.  Montgomery Tully also directed Battle Beneath the Earth.

Verdict: Dull, dull, dull with only a couple of bright spots. *1/2.

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