16 May 1999 | ColinRow
Mostly unremarkable crime story
Spin-off film from the 1952 American TV series of the same name. Mostly an unremarkable tale of a "master" criminal John Omar Pinson (Public Enemy No 4), his many escapes from Oregon State Prison, his return from death, and final downfall. Just what Pinson had done to deserve his 4th place ranking is not made clear - or how such a brilliant criminal mind could get himself re-arrested so easily after each breakout. Possibly worth watching for three reasons. The manner in which our hero extricates himself from the vigilant guards - surely cliched even in 1954 (hiding in a sack and being delivered a saw blade inside a bread roll?). Secondly, the wonderful bewhiskered disguise, complete with small decoy dog, which even Inspector Clouseau would have been embarrassed by. And last of all, one of the first screen sightings of a mobile phone even if it is the size of a small suitcase. Phillip Lord, as the narrator, tries to impart some gravatus by warning us against becoming too fond of this dangerous man and putting forward the case that overcrowding and bad conditions in US penitentiaries were responsible for a spate of breakouts. However, this film has absolutely nothing to do with the last point and we are unlikely to treat Pinson as a hero as he generates no sympathy at all. Terrible writing, appalling acting and a pedestrian plot. However, it did not prevent Myron Healy, who plays Pinson, from continuing a career that started in 1943 and was still going strong when he played a doctor in the dire comedy Little Giants in 1994. Best line? "In my twenty years of police work, it's the strangest thing I ever saw." The detective should get out more.