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  • secragt11 December 2012
    Typically violent and existential parolee noir featuring perennial patsy Dane Clark just out from the pokey after taking the fall for bad guy William Talman. Clark finds plenty more trouble on his very first day of release, quickly descending into murder and armed robbery with only a brief romantic interlude with true blue May Wynn, who ought to know better. Noir vet Barton MacClane gets in a couple good lines as the cop who put Clark away the first time and looks likely to do so again.

    Like many hard luck characters preceding him in noirdom, Clark appears forever snake-bit and no matter how he squirms or where he shoots, the flypaper just gets stickier. Clark's character has never gotten a particularly fair shake though he asks for some of what he gets. In short, he's not the kind you'd send a Christmas card to. His fate is never really in doubt,though you may decide to stick around to see whether the love of a good (naive) woman can prevent ultimate bloodshed (what do you think?) Overall a sincere if inevitable effort with a few thrills and not the worst b-movie 2nd feature in that context.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Truck driver Dane Clark has just gotten out of prison after serving a one year bit. He is hitching his back way back to LA. Fred Wayne, who works for the same trucking outfit Clark had, picks him up.

    When they hit LA, Wayne says he needs to make a stop before hitting the warehouse. Clark says no problem and has Wayne drop him just outside of downtown. They arrange to meet in one hour.

    Clark hotfoots it over to a nearby apartment building. He enters and heads upstairs. There he finds Richard Benedict. Clark figures that Benedict had set him up for the Police. The boys in blue had collared Clark with stolen goods in his truck. Clark had been filling in for Benedict on the delivery. Clark has been waiting a year to settle the score.

    A quick round of fisticuffs ends with Benedict going for a 6 floor fall off the roof. Clark calmly leaves the apartment and meets his ride Wayne. The two then drive to the trucking depot.

    Running the office phones at the depot is the built like a brick ****house, May Wynn. Wynn and Clark had been stepping out before Clark's trip to the jail house. While swapping spit with Wynn, they are interrupted by depot boss, William Talman. He would like a word with Clark in his office.

    Talman gives Clark back his job and offers him a chance at a cool 100 grand. Talman wants to make up for being the one who really set the cops on Clark. He had wanted to test Clark's "character". A less than amused Clark wants to give Talman a bit of what he gave Benedict in error. But 100 grand is 100 grand. Talman hands Clark a couple of c notes and arranges a meeting for the next day. All will be explained then.

    The pair are now interrupted by Police Detective, Barton MacLane. He is here to ask some questions about one of depot's drivers. The driver is of course, the late Richard Benedict. They need to know if anyone had it in for Benedict. MacLane, just happens to be the cop who had pinched Clark on the stolen goods beef. He asks Clark where he was at the time. "Just getting to town with one of the depot's drivers" he answers.

    Clark wines and dines Wynn that night and tells her he wants to marry her. Wynn is a tad reluctant to answer. She has been enjoying the company of up and coming Doctor, Robert Horton. She tells Clark she needs some time.

    Next day Clark meets up with Talman. Talman has the perfect caper lined up. He has all the inside dope on an armored car warehouse. He knows all about the guards, cash amounts, times etc.

    He wants Clark to run the operation with three other men he has hired. Again, 100 large for his end talks big, and Clark agrees. Clark and the men, Richard Reeves, Bob Jordan and Henry Lewis have one week to get ready. They spend the time going over blueprints and getting the plan down pat.

    The night of the robbery they silence the guard, break open the payroll safe and scoop up the half million inside. Then into the getaway car.

    However, a second guard shows and shots are exchanged with the guard getting plugged for his troubles. The boys then speed off to a second car. Clark takes the cash and heads off in the second car while Reeves, Jordan and Lewis go the other direction.

    The Police however are quickly off the mark tonight and have already put roadblocks up. Clark decides to ditch the cash rather than risk a search at a roadblock. He then contacts Talman by phone with the info. Clark says he will retrieve the cash later.

    While all this is going on, Maclane has been giving truck driver Fred Wayne a spot of 3rd degree. Wayne breaks and admits he had dropped Clark off near where Benedict had been killed. MacLane puts out an all points for Clark on suspicion of murder.

    The next day Clark and Talman meet to retrieve the cash. When Clark hands over the loot, slime-ball Talman, pulls a rod and shots Clark in the chest. He then laughs and drives off to stash the cash at the family farm.

    Clark however is not quite as dead as Talman thought. He manages to get to Wynn's apartment. Wynn is busy with her Doctor, Robert Horton. Clark applies some gun butt to Horton's head and drags Wynn off. He knows where Talman intends to hide the money. He wants Wynn to drive him to the farm. They are soon on the road with Wynn behind the wheel.

    Horton regains his senses and calls the Police. MacLane and the boys in blue quickly show. After a talk with Horton, Maclane radios the make, model and license number of Wynn's car to all units. They are not to stop the car but follow it. Wynn's car is soon spotted by a motorcycle cop who calls it in and follows at a distance.

    Wynn and Clark have now reached the Talman farm. Clark catches Talman in the act of digging a hole in which to bury the cash. Clark fills the hole with Talman after he puts several slugs into him. He grabs the bag of cash and starts to the car.

    MacLane, along with and a dozen or so heavily armed bulls have also made it to the farm. They have Clark surrounded. Clark drags the loot and Wynn into the barn. A thoroughly frightened Wynn tries to talk Clark into surrendering.

    Clark throws his piece aside and staggers outside the barn where he drops dead. The blood loss from the wound Talman gave him had caught up with him. Another perfect plan goes amiss. (B/W)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Dane Clark (Johnny Morrison), William Talman (Hackett), May Wynn (Carol Wayne), Robert Horton (Dr Mike Benning), Barton MacLane (Coster), Fred Wayne (Egan), Bob Jordan (Thorne), Richard Benedict (Mitch), Richard Reeves (Rutberg), Harry Lewis (Cole), Larry J. Blake (Ray Perkins), Darlene Fields (Terrycloth), John Mitchum.

    Director: FRANKLIN ADREON. Screenplay: Richard Landau, Robert C. Dennis. Story: Don Martin. Photography: Bud Thackery. Film editor: Tony Martinelli. Art director: Walter Keller. Set decorators: John McCarthy jr, George Milo. Special effects: Howard Lydecker, Theodore Lydecker. Costumes: Adele Palmer. Make-up: Bob Marks. Assistant director: Roy Wade. Sound recording: Dick Tyler. Associate producer: Edward J. White. Executive producer: Herbert J. Yates.

    SYNOPSIS: Johnny, a trucker, is framed by his boss for a smuggling offense across the California-Mexican border. Released after serving a year in San Quentin, Johnny murders another trucker whom he wrongly believes sent him to jail. Copyright 1956 by Republic Pictures Corp. U.S. release: 19 October 1956. No recorded New York opening. U.K. release: 10 September 1956. Australian release through 20th Century-Fox: 3 April 1958. 6,297 feet. 70 minutes.

    COMMENT: Despite its familiar plot (man is framed and sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit), this crime melo has an interesting trucking background which provides some exciting action. The script sustains interest (thanks to a couple of unexpected twists), acting is capable and the direction efficient.