18 August 2008 | wgie
How Can You Go Wrong With Robert Aldrich, Hammer Films, Jeff Chandler and Jack Palance?
The answer to that question is, "You can't!" I saw this film when it first came out in 1959, and I recently had the opportunity to see it again after 49 long years on Turner Classic Movies. I think the thing that makes this film so memorable to me is that the two leading actors Jeff Chandler and Jack Palance were given the opportunity to "break the mold" so to speak. Chandler who always played "the good guy" and "Palance" who always played "the bad guy" got the opportunity to switch roles. Earlier in their careers Chandler played a Roman Soldier (good guy) opposite Palance's Attila (bad guy) in "Sign of the Pagan". Chandler appears to be having a ball with the role of Karl Wirtz. His speech about how his Uncle Oscar taught him how to "look out for number ono" is reminiscent of the Burt Lancaster (Joe Erin) speech about the man who raised him (Ace Hannah) and how he double crossed him as well in "Vera Cruz". Interstingly enough, both films "Ten Seconds To Hell" and "Vera Cruz" were both directed by Robert Aldrich. The film's plot is about a German Bomb Disposal Unit working for the British after WWII which make a pact that the survivors will split the spoils of their labor after the job is finished. The texture and mood of the black and white film adds to the suspense of the film. One of both Chandler and Palance's best films.