The Walking Target (1960)

US / 74 minutes / bw / Zenith, UA Dir: Edward L. Cahn Pr: Robert E. Kent Scr: Stephen Kandel Cine: Maury Gertsman Cast: Joan Evans, Ronald Foster, Merry Anders, Harp McGuire, Robert Christopher, Berry Kroeger, Bill Couch, Norm Alden, James Callahan, J. Edward McKinley, William Fawcett, Guy Wilkerson, Harvey Parry.

A more than competent little crime outing that would certainly have been included in my Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir had it not flown below my radar; although its ending somewhat unexpectedly abjures the principles of noirish nihilism—I wouldn’t say it’s outright happy but it’s certainly hopeful—the rest of the movie, cinematography excepted, is full of noirish tropes. This is a film noir in all but recognition as such. I console myself with the fact that it’s managed to fly under all the other relevant radars, not just mine.

Ah, well, I can make amends now.

Nick Harbin (Foster) has done five years for a payroll heist that went horribly wrong: he was captured, his accomplice Jerry (Parry) was shot dead at the scene and his other accomplice, Sam Russo (Alden), was killed by the cops later when making an ill advised run for it.

Ronald Foster as Nick Harbin

The day of Nick’s release comes, and Warden John B. Haggerty (McKinley) warns him that, since he’s never divulged the location of the loot, he’ll be a Continue reading

Flesh and the Spur (1956)

US / 78 minutes / bw / HY, American–International Dir: Edward L. Cahn Pr: Alex Gordon Scr: Charles B. Griffith Jr, Mark Hanna, Lou Rusoff, Edward L. Cahn Story: Charles B. Griffith Jr, Mark Hanna Cine: Frederick E. West Cast: John Agar, Marla English, Touch Connors (i.e., Mike Connors), Raymond Hatton, Maria Monay, Joyce Meadows, Kenne Duncan, Dale Van Sickel.

flesh-and-the-spur-0A dangerous criminal—a member of the infamous Checkers Gang—breaks out of prison and, in stealing a farmer’s horse and gun, murders the farmer, Matt Random (Agar), in cold blood. Matt’s identical twin brother Luke (Agar again) sets off to hunt down the killer, his only real clue being that the stolen gun was a very unusual model, one of a pair given by their deceased father to the two sons.

One day Luke comes to the rescue of a Havasupai Indian woman, Wild Willow (English), who, while bathing in the river, has been Continue reading

Cage of Evil (1960)

US / 71 minutes / bw / Zenith, UA Dir: Edward L. Cahn Pr: Robert E. Kent Scr: Orville H. Hampton Story: Orville H. Hampton, Alexander Richards Cine: Maury Gertsman Cast: Ronald Foster, Pat Blair, Harp McGuire, John Maxwell, Preston Hanson, Doug Henderson, Hugh Sanders, Helen Kleeb, Robert Shayne, Owen Bush, Jack Tesler, Howard McLeod, Gregg Martell.

The voiceover narration of Inspector Daniel “Dan” A. Melrose (Maxwell) of the LAPD announces at the start of this movie that he’s going to tell the tale of how a cop—one of the most promising to have served under him—went bad. That cop is Detective Scott “Scotty” Harper (Foster), sent with his partner, Detective Murray Kearns (McGuire), to investigate a robbery at Delmar & Co., Wholesale Jewelers—a robbery during which a man was slugged: fatally so, it later proves.

Cage of Evil 0 - opener

Before it has become evident that this was an outside job, that things were set up by a fake burglar-alarm maintenance man, Harper has started smacking around Continue reading

You Have to Run Fast (1961)

vt Man Missing
US / 73 minutes / bw / Harvard, UA Dir: Edward L. Cahn Pr: Robert E. Kent Scr: Orville H. Hampton Cine: Gilbert Warrenton Cast: Craig Hill, Elaine Edwards, Grant Richards, Willis Bouchey, Ken Mayer, Shep Sanders, John Apone, Brad Trumbull, Jack Mann, Max Mellinger, John Clarke, Claudia Barrett, Ric Marlow, Jack Kenney, Joel Lewinson.

You Have to Run Fast - 5 Laurie (Edwards) has things out with Frank (Hill)

Laurie (Elaine Edwards) has things out with Frank (Craig Hill).

One night in the big city, two hoodlums arrive at the open-all-hours surgery of Dr. Roger Condon (Hill) bringing with them a savagely beaten cop, Lou Miles (Kenney). Despite Condon’s protests, the two depart. When Condon gets back to the patient he finds the man has died, and calls the cops. Lt. Dan Carbo (Mann) shows Condon the usual mugshots, and Condon identifies the hoods as Jay Rocco (Marlow) and Big Jim Craven (Richards). Carbo puts out an APB, and Rocco is soon caught, but Craven escapes. Condon attempts to carry on his life but, when the cop set to guard him is killed by one of Craven’s men, realizes he has to go on the run from Craven, who’s clearly desperate to eliminate the witness who can pin Miles’s death on him.

You Have to Run Fast - 3 Dr Roger Condon (Hill), who barely resembles Frank Harlow

Dr. Roger Condon (Craig Hill) — who could guess he’s the same person as outdoorsman Frank Harlow?

We next find Condon a year later in the guise of Frank Harlow, working as a clerk at a sporting goods store in the small town of Summit City, whose economic base seems Continue reading