KILL, THE (TV EPISODE)
(director: Franklin Shaffner; screenwriters: from the novel “The Mountains Have No Shadows” by Owen Cameron/Reginald Rose; cast: Grace Kelly (Freda Clark), Dick Foran (Jeff Clark), Lynn Loring (Carol Clark), Nina Foch (Carrie Brown Huddleston), Don Hanmer (Al Huddleston), Paul Langton (Marsh Huddleston), Joe Maross (Nebro), Alan Devitt (Cap Manny), Harry Townes (Dave Walters), Carl Frank (Link), James Coots (Sheriff), Arthur Junaleska (Billy Miles); Runtime: 60; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Dorothy Matthews/Donald Davis; CBS-Westinghouse Studio One; 1952)
“Fans of both the Studio One TV series and of Grace Kelly should find it diverting.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Before Grace Kelly’s breakthrough role in High Noon (1952) she appeared on live black and white TV dramas coming from NYC. In this Studio One drama, the future princess plays the persecuted wife of veteran singing movie cowboy star Dick Foran. It’s based on the book “The Mountains Have No Shadows” by Owen Cameron and is written by Reginald Rose. Hardly memorable, but fans of both the Studio One TV series and of Grace Kelly should find it diverting. It’s directed without distinction by Franklin Shaffner (“The Best Man”/”The Boys From Brazil”/ “Planet of the Apes”).
The sincere young couple, Freda Clark (Grace Kelly) and Jeff Clark (Dick Foran), leave city life to return to hubby’s backwoods hometown with their 7-year-old daughter (Lynn Loring) and try to be ranchers, but run into a water rights problem with sleazy neighbor Al Huddleston (Don Hanmer). When Al returns with his kid brother Marsh (Paul Langton) to cut off the irrigation water pump, an irate Jeff stops them and gets into a scrap with the brothers and hits Marsh in the face with a shovel causing minor scratches. Later that day, a mob confronts Jeff in his farmhouse and threatens to hang him after Marsh is found with his skull caved in. Jeff escapes in the woods and is helped by general store owner Cap (Alan Devitt) from the manhunt. Tired and worried, he finds shelter with his old girlfriend from twelve years ago, Carrie Huddleston (Nina Foch), the unhappy wife of Al who still pines desperately for Jeff and schemes to have Jeff kill her ugly hubby.
Things get back to normal when the craven mob learn that the jealous Al killed his kid brother because he pursued his wife, and the Clarks are now accepted by the mountain folks and encouraged to stay. The lesson being that it’s best to forgive and forget.
The actors were fine considering the story line and dialogue was the pits, but this is not a good example from the Golden Age of television.
REVIEWED ON 11/30/2009 GRADE: C+