CRY OF THE HUNTED(aka: MEN DON”T CRY) (director: Joseph H. Lewis; screenwriters: story by Jack Leonard & Marion Wolfe/Jack Leonard; cinematographer: Harold Lipstein; editor: Conrad A. Nervig; music: Rudolph G. Kopp; cast: Vittorio Gassman (Jory), Barry Sullivan (Lt. Tunner), Polly Bergen (Janet Tunner), William Conrad (Goodwin), Mary Zavian (Ella), Robert Burton (Warden Keeley), Harry Shannon (Sheriff Brown), Jonathan Cott (Deputy Davis); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: William Grady Jr.; MGM; 1953)
“An enjoyable thriller.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The prison escape film scores well for thrills and of offering an authentic look. It was shot in the swamps. Veteran indie B film director Joseph H. Lewis(“My Name is Julia Ross”/”The Big Combo”/”Terror in a Texas Town”) as usual does a good job directing such a budget limited project. It’s based on a story by Jack Leonard & Marion Wolfe, with the screenplay by Leonard.
Italian actor Vittorio Gassman plays a Cajun incarcerated at Branville State Penitentiary for robbery and escapes on the way to the DA to rat on his crime partners. But when his escort, Lt. Tunner’ (Barry Sullivan) underpaid and embittered assistant, Goodwin (William Conrad), collides with another car, Gassman flees. He’s chased feverishly through the Louisiana bayous by the humanitarian Lt. Tunner, on orders from the warden (Robert Burton). The hard-nosed local Sheriff Brown (Harry Shannon) hates Tunner’s soft approach, and joins the chase. They locate the fugitive hopping a freight train back home to Louisiana. In Gassman’s shack in the swamps, Tunner peacefully nabs him. But then some odd events occur when the fugitive’s hostile backwater wife (Mary Zavian) interferes and Gassman’s deal to return peacefully is off. It reaches the finale with Goodwin and Tunner searching the swamps together for Gassman, until Goodwin has enough and retreats. This allows Tunner to go on successfully alone.
Once again Lewis’s filmmaking skills rescues a stale story from failure. The result is an enjoyable thriller.
Polly Bergen plays Sullivan’s loyal wife. Jonathan Cott is believable as a bigoted deputy.
REVIEWED ON 7/2/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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