13 May 2015 | bkoganbing
A defrocked doctor
In the Citadel Film series book on The Films Of James Mason, Mason himself said that he was never told by viewers that they saw this film or was ever questioned about it. I guess that One Way Street might be overlooked in the big budget films that would shortly follow in his career. That's a pity because this one is a good, but fatalistic noir film, something along the lines of Odd Man Out.
In One Way Street Mason is a doctor whose practice is on the wrong side of the law, patching up criminals and not reporting about it. We're never told brought him to this because no one starts this way in the field of medicine.
While on a house call to Dan Duryea's mob after they've pulled a heist, Duryea rides Mason once too often and through a rather ingenious bluff he winds up stealing the loot from a robbery the gang just pulled off. Not only that, he winds up stealing Marta Toren away from Duryea so Dan has two reasons for going after him.
Mason and Toren have to land in a remote village in Mexico when the plane they've chartered develops engine trouble. Even a defrocked doctor is welcome among these people where Mason and Toren settle and start to enjoy life a little, but life and the past do catch up.
Duryea's henchmen include William Conrad, King Donovan, and Jack Elam who are as scurvy a lot as you'll find. Basil Ruysdael who is always an authority figure of some kind is fine as the local priest at the village where Mason and Toren are staying. Look fast or you'll miss Rock Hudson in a bit role as a truckdriver with one line in the film.
Marta Toren who hoped to succeed both Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman as a cinema sensation from Sweden died tragically young. She never broke into A pictures in America, but she was for me one of the most beautiful women the big screen ever saw.
If your genre is noir you cannot go wrong with One Way Street.