Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Actress Ida Lupino stepped behind the camera to direct this tour de force psychodrama. Two old army buddies head off on a fishing vacation. One misstep puts them in the clutches of a sadistic serial killer on the lam.
Edmund O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy put in memorable performances as the hapless vacationers, but this movie belongs to William Talman (Perry Mason's DA 'Hamilton Burger') as the psycho killer who will do anything to escape into Mexico.
This thriller makes its mark by breaking the rules of standard film noir. There's no femme fatale, and the shadowy urban streets are replaced by the blinding, merciless heat of the Sonoran desert.