A teenage orphan must choose between his own integrity and the corrupted might of the law!
US / 90 minutes / bw / Columbia Dir: Alfred L. Werker Pr: Philip A. Waxman Scr: Richard Jessup Story: The Cunning and the Haunted (1954) by Richard Jessup Cine: Ernest Haller Cast: Sal Mineo, James Whitmore, J. Carrol Naish, Gene Lyons, Paul Carr, Thomas Carlin, Leigh Whipper, Stefan Gierasch, Victor Thorley, Roxanne (i.e., Dolores Rosedale), James Reese, Ruth Attaway, Leland Mayforth, Dick Wigginton, Stanley Martin, Josephine Smith.
Sixteen-year-old Leslie “Les” Henderson (Mineo) is one of the inmates at the Brockton Orphanage for Boys, somewhere in the Deep South. He wants to try for a scholarship to technical college with the aim of becoming an engineer. Like the other older boys, he acts as a big brother to a dormitory of the little kids.
His plans take a bit of a knock the day when he finds another older boy, Tom Bradley (Carr), bullying Les’s little friend Allan (Mayforth); even though Tom’s bigger, Les whales him, thereby earning a reprimand—and a week’s docking of his precious August vacation—from orphanage superintendent Gwinn (Reese). Les had been planning to go on his sailboat with friend Jimmy Brown (Wigginton) to the nearby deserted island of Warsaw for a few weeks’ camping. On the other hand, Les’s defense of the underdog, Allan, and his defeat of Bradley means he’s now accepted by staff and boys alike as one of the orphanage’s Big Fellas.
Bradley (Paul Carr) prepares to launch himself at Les.
Another of the Big Fellas is Johnny Clancy (Carlin). We know from the outset that Clancy is a bit of a snake. Called to do something about the punchup between Les and Bradley, he just Continue reading