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Re: YouTube link: VIOLENT SATURDAY (1955)
Although good guy Richard Egan and bad guy Stephen McNally closely resemble each other in Violent Saturday (1955), and although Egan at one point likens himself to a “traveling salesman”, which in fact is McNally’s ruse identity, the screenplay really doesn’t tease out this theme sufficiently to be impactful. That is a flaw of the film generally; either it leaves a point hanging (Sylvia Sidney’s barely developed thieving librarian sub-plot), or it underlines it cringily (Victor Mature’s kid coming to see his dad as a hero because he offed people). And the casting of Ernest Borgnine as an Amish farmer is odd, to say the least.
I should be interested to read the source novel by William L. Heath, to see if the Peyton-Place-cum-heist-story set-up works better there. The film is far from a total loss, though. It looks fantastic in Deluxe Color and CinemaScope, which really bring out the qualities of the shrewd location filming in Bisbee, Arizona. The movie has a LOOK. Lee Marvin does nicely as a neurotic robber, but the acting palm goes to Virginia Leith, who shines in all of her scenes and has a great final exchange with Tommy Noonan as a Peeping Tom banker.