Port of Escape - 1956 UK I liked it
Posted by Gordon Gates on 1/9/2020, 8:42 pm
The first time I saw this film (2006) it was a rather poor print on an old VHS tape. I have since replaced it with a much better DVD copy. I decided a second look was needed just to see if i had missed something the first time.
John McCallum and Bill Kerr are a pair of American sailors just fired off a freighter. They hit the waterfront dives in search of booze and dames. Kerr, the not so bright one of the pair gets in a scrap with a local hard case. A knife is produced and used which leaves the local dead.
McCallum and Kerr hit the pavement in a hurry looking for a place to go to ground. With John Law on their heels the pair jump on a dockside houseboat to hide. On board are three woman whom the pair take as hostages. A gun persuades the trio, Joan Hickson, Googie Withers and Wendy Danielli to play along when the Police come for a look.
The Police move on and McCallum and Kerr decide to lay low for a few days till the heat is off. After that, they will steal a small boat and head down river where they hope to sign on an outbound ship. If they can get back to the States they figure they can just disappear.
They make their break but needless to say their luck does not hold. The chase is back on. The gun is again used resulting in Kerr being killed trying to escape over a warehouse roof. McCallum is captured.
A well done little film with some excellent camera work of the London docks and town.
The director was the rather unknown Anthony Young. The d of p was Phil Grindrod who shot HOUSE OF BLACKMAIL, THE DEADLIEST SIN, DIAL 999, STREET OF SHADOWS, THE CROOKED SKY, VIOLENT STRANGER, THE HYPNOSIST and THE DIPLOMATIC CORPSE.
John McCallum was in ROOT OF EVIL, THE CALENDER, THE WOMAN IN QUESTION, THE LONG MEMORY, IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAYS and TRENT'S LAST CASE. His wife, Googie Withers, was in DEAD OF NIGHT, IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAYS, PINK STRING AND SEALING WAX and NIGHT AND THE CITY. Joan Hickson, the BBC's Miss Marple to many of us, was in ROUGH SHOOT, DEADLY NIGHTSHADE and HEAT WAVE.
Revenue Agent - 1950 A Lew Landers quickie
Posted by Gordon Gates on 1/9/2020, 8:52 pm
This Columbia Pictures quickie starts with Lyle Talbot as a book-keeper for a crooked mining outfit owned by Onslow Stevens. Stevens and his mob have a small gold mine. It seems they only claim a small amount to the IRS and smuggle the rest to Mexico. There, they sell it on the black market and bank the cash.
Talbot comes home early one evening and discovers that his wife, Jean Wiles, has been stepping out with his boss, Stevens. After Stevens leaves, Talbot confronts Wiles about her new horizontal cha-cha partner. Wiles laughs at Talbot, tells him he is just a blow-hard, and that she will do as she pleases. Talbot responds that he will "fix her and her new man".
He storms out and down the street. Wiles calls Stevens to give him the heads up on what Talbot said. Stevens says not to worry, then sends his pet gunsel, William Phillips, to have a friendly word or two with Talbot. He catches Talbot on the phone arranging a meeting with the IRS. He has some info he would like to give them. Before he can spill any names or particulars, Phillips uses a switchblade to give Talbot some unneeded help with his breathing arrangements.
Douglas Kennedy is the IRS agent who gets assigned to the case. Working from the call, they trace the body, from there to his employers. Checking the mine's books, Kennedy realizes someone is pulling a fast one with the gold. Kennedy pretends to have been a silent partner of Talbot. He is a crooked IRS man who is tired of the poor pay and long hours. He wants a cut of the smuggling racket. After an attempt by thug Phillips to silence Kennedy goes awry, Steven agrees to a cut on the next load to Mexico.
The gold is melted down and molded into the frame of the car they use. They then head to Mexico to deliver the goods. Needless to say Agent Kennedy's plan to have the police swoop in and arrest the lot goes wrong. The gang tumbles to his ploy just after they cross the border. A bullet to the back of his head and a burial in a local gravel yard are planned.
The obligatory escape happens with Kennedy leading Phillips and fellow thug, David Bruce on a well-staged chase and fight through the gravel yard. Once Phillips and company are disposed off, it is a quick trip to the airport in-order to catch Stevens. Stevens has plans for a nice life in Brazil. He is dragged back to the US for a long holiday on the Government's dime instead.
A decent little time waster that veteran B helmsman Lew Landers keeps zipping along.