23 January 2013 | alonzoiii-1
The Way To A Nap
Jeffrey Hunter, one of those young guys who is always in trouble and never guilty of anything, drifts into a small town after sharing a cell at the pen with a notorious train robber. His head has been filled with THE WAY TO THE GOLD. Will he find it and get out of town with the cute diner waitress before Barry Sullivan puts him in jail for loitering or something?
Let's note, before panning this film, the one good and interesting thing in it. This flick has the daffiest set of geriatric villains you will see in a 50s film, as well as the mandatory brooding 50s psychopath. Walter Brennan makes the most of a small role depicting a cackling wacko, who has driven himself mad with greed, and his colleagues in crime are almost as good. The problem is, while these loons are worthy of Von Stroheim (or maybe Lillian Hellman), nothing else is even close, and bland as supermarket brand vanilla. Hero Hunter, in a Perry Como- like performance of an edgy and dangerous fellow, has nice boy dreams, but a bad attitude, and a lust of gold that wise tough cop Barry Sullivan just knows is going to cause some action. The tough but good girl isn't bad, but her role is underwritten. The required ironies and twists aren't bad, but the closing one is immediately predictable to anyone who has a passing familiarity with movies about a gang of folks seeking money they really shouldn't have.
In other words, this film is too cautious to go very badly wrong, and too cautious to be terribly engaging. Which suggests its current obscurity is well-earned.