(director/writer: Ewald André Dupont; screenwriters: story by Edwin Rolfe & I.G. Goldsmith; cinematographer: Franz Planer; editor: Joseph Gluck; music: Herschel Burke Gilbert; cast: Mercedes McCambridge(Connie Carter), John Ireland (John Barrington), Emyl Williams (David Dunbar), Lloyd Clough (Dr. Gordon), Basil Ruysdael (Cyrus Barrington), James Barton (Ezra Thompson); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: I.G. Goldsmith; United Artists; 1951)
“A bleak oddball murder mystery noir.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A bleak oddball murder mystery noir, that even if tiresomely helmed and over-written by German director Ewald André Dupont(“The Steel Lady”/”Jealousy”/”Love Storm”) it still makes for a strangely interesting watch. It’s based on a story by Edwin Rolfe & I.G. Goldsmith.
John Ireland escapes from an asylum for the criminally insane to prove his innocence. He was convicted of strangling to death with a scarf his girlfriend, a crime he has no memory of. He has been incarcerated for the last two years and hopes that being free will jog his memory. Trekking on foot through the desert, he finds a turkey ranch. The hobbled old man ranch owner, James Barton, goes by his intuition and gives the escapee shelter until he can find out the truth.
While using the rancher’s car to run an errand in town, Ireland gives hitch hiker Mercedes McCambridge a lift. She’s a singing waitress, on her way to a new job in the city. That she owns a similar scarf to the one used in the murder, gives the framed vic his first clue to unravel the mystery as his memory is now starting to come back to him.
Emlyn Williams plays the suspiciously-too-cooperative psychiatrist.
McCambridge sings Summer Rain.
REVIEWED ON 9/10/2015 GRADE: B-