No doubt the real star here is Glacier National Park and its scenic vistas. It's 1953 and Hollywood is trying to lure TV audiences back into theatres with lavish Technicolor that b&w can't compete with, and with a 3-D process that faded as quickly as it soared. In short, Hollywood is looking for new formulas that work. I suspect an uncertain background of this sort accounts for this very odd movie product. In brief, it's a scenic jumble. Maybe you can make sense of story developments, I couldn't. It's a weird blend of noirish plot with The Nature Channel. Something about a mysterious hit-man tracking down a murder witness in the Park. But somehow the thread never really gels amid a welter of confusing events. I also suspect the screenplay is the result of too many chefs, even good chefs like W.R. Burnett, Horace McCoy, and Charles Bennett (a Hitchcock favorite), all of whom are credited, and each likely with his own ideas.
The cast is also an uneasy blend of aging names and hopeful no-names. Mature, Price, and Bendix lend some waning marquee strength, while Laurie and St. John are attractive newcomers. Yet, it's a real stretch to have the nubile young St. John ga-ga over the slightly effete, 40'ish Price. Then too, casting the unlikely Price as a top New York hit-man doesn't help. I realize there's supposed to be a surprise factor here, especially with the guffawing Cheshire's role; still, these come across as little more than artificial plot devices. Note too, the remnants of 3-D that come rolling at us during the avalanche sequence. And judging from the extravagant set for the climactic crevasse scene, "disaster" producer Irwin Allen is already experimenting with big ideas. Anyway, the storyline may jumble, but those Technicolor vistas continue to shine through and remain about the only reason to catch up with this RKO goulash.
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