Search This Blog

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dial 1119 (1950)

A psychotic and homicidal mental patient (Marshall Thompson) escapes from his asylum and returns to the the city, the scene of the crime he committed three years earlier. He enters a bar and after killing the bartender (William Conrad, TV's CANNON), holds the remaining six people in the bar hostage and demands the psychiatrist (Sam Levene, CROSSFIRE) who originally diagnosed him come to see him. This low budget "B" noir-ish thriller starts off with some promising potential but it loses steam about the halfway mark and can't sustain itself to the end, in itself surprising since it's only an hour and 15 minutes long. Directed without distinction by Gerald Mayer (Louis B.'s nephew), the film is hampered by Thompson's inadequate performance. In the hands of a stronger actor, the quietly deranged killer might have brought some needed tension to the project but Thompson can't shake off his clean cut boy next door persona. It doesn't help that the hostages are written as a stock bunch without much originality. There's no underscore but Andre Previn composed a strong main title and end title. With Virginia Field, Leon Ames, Andrea King, Keefe Brasselle and Richard Rober.

No comments:

Post a Comment