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Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Bullet Is Waiting (1954)

A deputy (Stephen McNally) and his prisoner (Rory Calhoun) survive a plane crash off the California coast near the High Sierra mountains. A torrential rainstorm forces them to take shelter at the ranch of a sheltered girl (Jean Simmons) whose father (Brian Aherne) is away. The attraction between the girl and the prisoner is strong. Will she help him escape? John Farrow has directed some excellent films (BIG CLOCK, HONDO) but this parboiled semi-western isn't one of them. The film makes no sense, not really. Calhoun's prisoner is relatively free to escape at any time yet he hangs around and even if he's attracted to Simmons, surely he would escape first and come back later. The film's jaw dropping (and not in a good way) "happy" ending has to be seen to be believed. The lovely and talented Simmons is always a welcome presence and brings some much needed appeal to the film but even her presence can't save it from being anything more than a miscalculation. The noise, I mean score is by Dimitri Tiomkin.

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