(director: Kurt Neumann; screenwriters: Robert Hardy Andrews/story by Robert Hardy Andrews and Paul Short/Paul Short; cinematographer: Karl Struss; editor: William Austin; music: Paul Sawtell; cast: Audie Murphy (Danny Lester ), Lloyd Nolan (Marshall Brown), James Gleason (Chief), Jane Wyatt (Maude Brown), Martha Vickers (Lila Strawn), Stanley Clements (Bitsy); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Paul Short; Allied Artists; 1949)
“Only worth seeing for Audie Murphy completists.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Kurt Neumann (“She Devil”/”Kronos”/”The Fly”) directs this not so hot melodramatic fictionalized ‘troubled boy’ juvenile delinquent post-war film. It’s based on a story by Robert Hardy Andrews and Paul Short. Only worth seeing for Audie Murphy completists. This is war hero Murphy’s first starring role. Murphy is billed as “the most decorated soldier of World War II.”
Danny (Audie Murphy) is remanded to the head of Variety Ranch, Marshall Brown (Lloyd Nolan), after a conviction for armed robbery in lieu of jail time. At the ranch he refuses to obey orders. The saintly Brown is about to send him to reform school, when he uncovers the source of Danny’s unrest. The kid blames himself for causing his mother’s death by poison when he was 12 and can’t forgive himself. When Danny learns at last he’s not to blame, he finally settles down and willgraduate from Texas A&M’s ROTC program. Which in this film means he’s a finished product.
Murphy does OK for his debut, but the pic is not much and offers only cliched life lessons.
REVIEWED ON 1/25/2015 GRADE: C