- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- kevin sellers
Excellent early Don Siegel crime drama, featuring four of the best written and acted villains that you're likely to see on film. Let's list them, shall we? First there's Eli Wallach's sadistic psycho. Then you have Richard Jaeckel's cocky, bemused getaway car driver. Vaughn Taylor, who usually played folksy New Englanders, is the wheelchair bound drug czar of S.F. who memorably stares at Eli Wallach as he bumbles through his explanation of why he doesn't have all the H on him, and then utters the best two lines in Stirling Silliphant's screenplay, "You're dead." And best of all is Robert Keith (Brian's dad) as Wallach's creepy mentor who has a sick fascination with the last words of murder victims. Compared to these bad guys the cops are not nearly as interesting, but I kind of like the contrast between their workaday, low key goodness and the drug dealers' flamboyant evil. Somewhere in the middle between good and evil (Yes, Ms. Clichae, there is one ambiguous character in this film!) we have Mary La Roche playing a woman who discovers the heroin that has been planted in a doll onboard ship and decides to keep it. Is she planning to go to the cops? The film never says. Don Siegel handles the foregoing with tight pacing and great atmospherics, like a hit in a steam room and a seduction in an aquarium. And Silliphant's writing, while a bit too talky and self conscious where the villains are concerned, is thankfully terse and spare with the cops. Finally, there is the great location shooting in San Francisco, a city for which Siegel obviously has a feel ("Dirty Harry," anyone?) So let's give it an A minus. P.S. Great shot of the odious, under construction Embarcadero Freeway that was mercifully torn down, thanks to visionary mayor Art Agnos, in the early 90s.
The Lineup is Fine
The Good guys: plain, strong, decisive men who protect women & children & each other or there is hell to pay. The bad guys: nicely dressed, drug dealing creeps who deceive themselves & others, kill, & hide behind women's skirts. The action: identifying & tracking down the bad guys who wangle, threaten, & shoot their fellows ( including the wheel-chaired king-pin who gets pushed over a railing & splats onto an ice-rink )then are car chased to a dead-end highway to be shot or plummeted to death down a construction project. This America movie has my blessing!
My youthful memories before my eyes
- Marilyn Volpert
Holy Cow! I feel like I just was back in my old stomping grounds! I missed the first half hour and was hoping to find this on the schedule again, so I can see if Playland at the Beach was shown. We lived close by that and the Cliff House and the Sutro Baths, etc. I went there after the fire and grabbed a couple of old nails from the debris, just to have a piece of my history.There were shots of the old 1955 Buick, special, three toned car that I learned to drive on! Anyone who loves Old San Francisco will jump for joy over this one!
Thank you for bringing back Film Joir. He captured the real essence of what it was all about. No Hollywood glamour, just the core of what reality is, like in his books. I thouroughly enjoyed his movies of which I have not seen but were so true and exciting. I don't think much of your other guests but he was new and brilliant. I cannot get enough of Betty Davis and Ruth Chatterton and I also wish that you would show some of the movies on complicted women narrated by Jane Fonda. I havn't seen them. Please stick to Old Hollywood as much as possible.t ucomperable.
A Bay to Breakers Thrill Ride
A true San Francisco thriller filmed entirely on location. The final chase traverses the entire city and ends on a former freeway. Captures the time period perfectly and shows the Sutro Baths before the fire. If you love The City and its history, you'll love this movie.
A San Francisco treat, with Wallach, R. Keith, Jaeckel and Siegel at their best.