22 December 2011 | bkoganbing
On The Jury?
After getting an Oscar nomination for The Hasty Heart, British actor Richard Todd did a few more American films before returning to the United Kingdom. Some like A Man Called Peter were top rate and some like Lightning Strikes Twice fall right apart at the beginning.
There is no way that Mercedes McCambridge would ever have gotten on a jury where Todd was the defendant. In this case he was being tried for murder. She was the holdout on the jury that swung the case to acquittal by reasonable doubt. As someone who knew the defendant that is impossible.
McCambridge is the reason to see this film, her intense style of acting carries it over a lot of rough patches, but not enough. Ruth Roman on vacation for her health gets involved in the local controversies where Todd's arrest and trials for murdering his tramp of a wife are the number one subject of local gossip. Roman stays at a dude ranch run by Mercedes and her brother Darryl Hickman. And she falls for Todd, but soon the doubts appear.
Zachary Scott is on hand as well in a surprisingly small role as a rather sleazy playboy. Scott is always good, we should have seen more of him.
Lightning Strikes Twice has not worn well over the years.