12 August 2001 | telegonus
Take Them No Prisoners!
Show Them No Mercy! is a very rough and tumble tale of a gang of criminals that abduct a young couple in a farmhouse. It was directed by George Marshall with verve and energy to spare, and has one of the best casts of hard guys one could ask for.
The movie is a product of the G-man era, and reflects a Mid-Depression America increasingly intolerant of criminals. Characters are nicely developed and tend to be eccentric without becoming fey. One of them is genuinely frightening.
Criminals, especially kidnappers, were not suffered gladly in the Depression era. One feels within the movie itself a sense of outrage. The film, though tense, has at times a pastoral quality in its quieter moments due to its rural setting. It ends with a burst of extreme violence out of character with the rest of the film, which must have brought audiences to their feet at the time of its release.