20 September 2005 | southfar
Good noir from Republic veterans
This is an important movie in regards to the history of Republic Pictures. Starting in 1957, Republic technically didn't make films anymore, but released or distributed films made by independent companies. But only one of these independent companies was made up of personnel from the original Republic Pictures, Ventura Productions. The Man Who Died Twice was the last film of seven or eight made by Ventura (December 1957), released by Republic in June 1958. So technically, this was the last real Republic Production, with Republic regulars at the helm: Joseph Kane, director, Jack Marta, director of photography, Bob Mark, makeup supervision, Rudy Ralston, Producer, etc. The two top stars were Republic stalwarts, Rod Cameron and Vera Ralston. It has a good story, is paced well, as usual, by Kane (named by Gene Autry to be the John Ford of B movies) and photographed beautifully in black and white and Republic's wide screen process, Naturama, by Marta. It is Vera Ralston's last film and Kane's last film for Republic. He moved on to directing westerns on TV and then in the mid 60s did some directing and 2nd unit directing for films. Republic collapsed in mid 1959, more valuable for the land its studio was sitting on and for its film library. Do your best to try and see the 70 minute film. It has a great supporting cast headed by Mike Mazurki (who appeared with Vera and John Wayne in 1945's Dakota from Republic, also directed by Kane).