No Road Back


1h 23m 1957

Film Details

Release Date
Feb 1957
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Gibraltar Pictures, Ltd.
Distribution Company
RKO Teleradio Pictures, Inc.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
Walton-on-Thames, England, Great Britain
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Madame Tic-Tac by Falkland L. Cary and Philip Weathers (London, 11 May 1950).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Synopsis

In England, as a gang of jewel thieves flee the police, gang member Marco is captured. The others, leader Clem Hayes, Rudge Harvey and Spike, meet at the nightclub owned by Mrs. Railton, a blind and deaf woman who fences the jewels to her upper-class contacts. Mrs. Railton is attended to by Rummy, a Seeing Eye dog, and Beth, who communicates with her via sign language. Bartender Marguerite warns Beth that her involvement with the gang is jeopardizing her relationship with John, Mrs. Railton's son, who works as a doctor in America and knows nothing of his mother's illegal sideline, but Beth refuses to abandon her beloved employer. Just then, John returns home unexpectedly and sweeps Beth into his arms, after which his mother enters and, examining him with her hands, proclaims him too thin. They are interrupted by Inspector Harris, who is investigating the jewel robbery and now questions them about the gang members, of whom they proclaim their ignorance. Later, however, Hayes slips in to see Mrs. Railton in her backroom office, where he pressures her to the sell the jewels immediately, although she wants to wait until Marco is released from jail. Despite Mrs. Railton's insistence that they "lay low" for a few weeks, Hayes informs her of a $25,000 diamond shipment occurring later that week and demands a meeting of the gang at the club on Friday night. By promising that this will be their final job, Hayes convinces Mrs. Railton to agree to the meeting. Meanwhile, in the front-room bar, John sees a drunken Rudge harass Beth and beats him up. Beth follows John to his room in back, where he asks her why so many suspicious men hang out at the bar. When he asks her to marry him right away, she demurs, afraid to involve him in her life until after the diamond heist. Friday night, however, John overhears the gang planning the robbery, and listens as Mrs. Railton asserts that no one must be hurt in the process. John is stunned by his mother's involvement, and when Beth later visits his room, he confronts her and demands that she leave with him. Beth tearfully explains that she cannot turn her back on his mother, who needs her to function as a complete person. She also reveals that Mrs. Railton has used the illegal gains to finance John's education, and begs him not to return to America. John instead visits the garage that Rudge owns, hoping to gain more information, but the garage attendant informs him Rudge is out. John then returns to the bar with a marriage license, and after Beth once again refuses him, he realizes that the heist is occurring presently, and rushes to the jeweler's in hopes of stopping the job. It is already well in progress, however, and while Rudge distracts a policeman outside, Spike and Hayes have entered the building, knocked out the guard and opened the safe. Unknown to them, the guard quickly revives and, as they retrieve the diamonds, attacks them. Hayes kills the guard and the three men flee the building just as John arrives. Seeing the guard, John anonymously calls the police and runs home. The gang has returned to the club, where even though Hayes fails to inform Mrs. Railton about the guard's death, she refuses to sell the diamonds, declaring that her days of crime are over. When Spike tells Rudge about the guard, the nervous man tries to convince Spike to go to the police with him and confess. Hayes overhears them and, after advising Spike to leave, shoots Rudge. The wounded man crawls on the floor, begging for help, but even when Mrs. Railton walks by him, she is oblivious to his distress, and Hayes watches with amusement as Rudge dies. Hayes then places Rudge's body in the getaway car, planning to dump both, but just then John arrives and, seeing the car apparently abandoned by the back door, drives it back to the garage in order to get rid of it. At the garage, the attendant sees John furtively leave the car, and in the morning, discovers Rudge's body within and informs Harris of John's suspicious behavior. Upon reading a newspaper account of the guard's death, Mrs. Railton calls Spike in for a full explanation, afterward giving him and Marguerite money to "disappear" for their own safety. Harris soon arrives to question her, informing Beth and Mrs. Railton that John is being held for Rudge's murder. Later, Mrs. Railton has Beth type a full confession, then privately loads a gun and arranges her office furniture carefully. After informing the police that Hayes will be at her office, she calls the ringleader in, placing him in a chair across from her desk, and demands that he sign the confession. When he tries to leave, she senses the motion and shoots at the chair, not realizing that he is no longer sitting. While she searches for him with her hands, Hayes moves to attack her, but is stopped by Rummy, who leads Mrs. Railton toward her target. As she stalks Hayes, Harris arrives with John, and Beth, who has been locked out of the office, leads them to break down the door. Just as they gain entry, Hayes grabs Mrs. Railton's gun and shoots her. As Hayes is arrested, Mrs. Railton asks with her dying breath if John has been cleared, and learning that he is safe, dies in peace.

Film Details

Release Date
Feb 1957
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Gibraltar Pictures, Ltd.
Distribution Company
RKO Teleradio Pictures, Inc.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
Walton-on-Thames, England, Great Britain
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Madame Tic-Tac by Falkland L. Cary and Philip Weathers (London, 11 May 1950).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 23m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Although the onscreen credits include a 1956 copyright statement for RKO Teleradio Pictures, the film was not registered for copyright at the time of its release. However, according to copyright records, the film was registered by RKO Teleradio Pictures, Inc. on November 29, 1984 under the number PA-255-100. Falkland L. Cary and Philip Weathers wrote Madame Tic-Tac, the play on which No Road Back was based. Although they receive onscreen credit for "additional dialogue," it is not known if they contributed anything other than the original story.
       On October 31, 1960, Hollywood Reporter reported that British production company Gibraltar Pictures was suing RKO for $500,000. The suit charged that when RKO disbanded its foreign distribution arm, it failed to notify Gibraltar, did not use its best efforts to launch the film and breached an earlier agreement by handing over distribution rights to the J. Arthur Rank Organisation. The disposition of this suit has not been determined.