This is one of the few movies where Robert Ryan, a hard-driving, rich, and arrogant businessman, actually has the audience's sympathy. The gorgeous Rhonda Fleming plays his conniving and faithless wife who ruthlessly strands him in the desert with a broken leg. And Ms. Fleming is all-too-convincing in the bad-girl role. The movie centers on Ryan's thoughts, feelings, and actions as he attempts to survive this nightmarish ordeal. For awhile, his revenge fantasies are the only things keeping him going, but things change. Carl Betz and Larry Keating are quite good in pithy supporting roles. And, the suspense keeps our interest throughout. The makers of Cast Away should have watched this a few times before making their exercise in ennui, also about finding the will to survive in almost impossible circumstances.
Only one negative comment: William Lundigan is much too old and too refined as Fleming's lover-conspirator who gets a nasty attack of conscience late in the game. Someone rugged such as Rock Hudson (who was in his pre-Doris-Day days) or Lloyd Bridges, or even Chuck Connors would have been a much better choice.
That said, Inferno is a well-made and memorable film.
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