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

Alias Mary Smith (1932)

US / 58 minutes / bw / Hoffberg
Dir: E. Mason Hopper
Pr: Ralph M. Like
Scr:
Edward T. Lowe
Cine:
Jules Cronjager
Cast:
Blanche Mahaffey, John Darrow, Raymond Hatton, Edmund Breese, Myrtle Stedman, Gwen Lee, Henry B. Walthall, Alec B. Francis, Matthew Betz, Jack Grey, Ben Hall, Harry Strang.

Alias Mary Smith - 2 John Darrow gives very much his usual performance

John Darrow gives very much his usual performance as the cut-price romantic lead.

As Mary Smith (Mahaffey) comes out of Gene Morgan’s Club Pyramid one night, a hoodlum snatches her purse. Inebriated playboy Robert “Buddy” Hayes (Darrow), climbing from his car nearby, is able to catch the thief and bring him to the ground. After they’ve given evidence to the cops, Buddy takes her out to dinner and, the next time we see him, next morning, is sporting the black eye she gave him when he sprouted hands.

Alias Mary Smith - 1 Kearney interviews the dead man's butler (uncredited)

Kearney (Jack Grey) interviews the dead man’s butler (uncredited).

The morning papers are full of the murder of Continue reading

In Cold Blood (1967)

vt Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood

US / 134 minutes / bw / Pax, Columbia Dir & Pr & Scr: Richard Brooks Story: In Cold Blood (1966 “nonfiction novel”) by Truman Capote Cine: Conrad Hall Cast: Robert Blake, Scott Wilson, John Forsythe, Paul Stewart, Gerald S. O’Loughlin, Jeff Corey, John Gallaudet, James Flavin, Charles McGraw, Will Geer, John McLiam, Ruth Storey, Brenda C. Currin, Paul Hough, Vaughn Taylor, Duke Hobbie, Sheldon Allman, Sammy Thurman, Raymond Hatton, Teddy Eccles.

In Cold Blood 1967 - 2 The convict who knows

Floyd Wells (uncredited), the convict who knows.

While in the joint, con Dick Hickock (Wilson) allowed himself to be persuaded by cellmate Floyd Wells (uncredited) that Kansas farmer Herbert “Herb” W. Clutter (McLiam) is extremely wealthy and keeps a safe filled with at least $10,000 in his basement. Accordingly, as soon as Dick’s old friend, limping Korea Gold Star vet Perry Smith (Blake), is released on parole from his own sentence, Dick recruits him to go to the depths of Kansas and rob the family, Dick’s plan being that there’ll be “no survivors”. In parallel with this main narrative strand, we see scenes of the Clutters going about their daily business—Herb the genial paterfamilias, his neurotic wife Bonnie (Storey), their son Kenyon (Hough), whose smoking is an open secret between himself and his dad, and their sweet-sixteen-year-old daughter Nancy (Currin), in a flutter over the boyfriend she’s mad about. At last the family beds down for the night, and the two crooks quietly draw up in front of the farmhouse . . .

In Cold Blood 1967 - 5 Nancy faces death

Nancy Clutter (Brenda C. Currin) faces her nemesis.

What happens next we don’t discover until late into the movie; for now, we cut straight to the following morning, a Sunday, with the cops investigating the scene of a vile mass murder. The only clues that Alvin Dewey (Forsythe) of the KBI (Kansas Bureau of Investigations) and his team have at the outset are a distinctive shoeprint left in the blood of Herb Clutter and a less unusual but nonetheless identifiable one beside it, plus the military-style knots used in the ropes that bound the Clutters.

In Cold Blood 1967 - 1 The clue

The incriminating shoeprint.

The thieves found, of course, no safe. They came away with $43, a pair of binoculars and a transistor radio as the profit from their crime. With Dick in the driver’s seat, they go on a spree of Continue reading