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Friday, November 4, 2011

Cry Terror! (1958)

A family of three (father James Mason, mother Inger Stevens, daughter Terry Ann Ross) are kidnapped and held hostage by a band of unbalanced psychopaths headed by Rod Steiger and forced to assist in a plot blackmailing an airline for $500,000 or a bomb will be detonated in one of their planes. This taut and economical B&W thriller, directed by Andrew L. Stone, is a nifty and intense white knuckle suspenser. Shot on location rather than on studio sets, the film has a gritty NAKED CITY feel to it as the FBI races against the clock to save the family and nab the crooks. Fortunately, the husband and wife are anything but pushovers. Steiger makes for a wonderfully repulsive villain and is ably assisted by a gang consisting of Neville Brand as a creepy Benzedrine addicted rapist and Angie Dickinson as a cold blooded, stiletto wielding babe and Jack Klugman, the one "nice" baddie. Some of the overwrought narration by Mason and Stevens could have safely been eliminated, we can see what's happening, we don't need to be told. With Kenneth Tobey, Jack Kruschen, Marjorie Bennett and William Schallert.

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