Wednesday, December 29, 2010

1948 - BEHIND LOCKED DOORS, getting it done in 62 minutes

A private investigator goes under cover at a mental hospital looking for a criminal.  This is an early Budd Boetticher film, which is not a western and was shot quickly on a small number of almost empty looking sets. 

Film scholars are always looking for signs of an auteur in the early films of directors, they would probably have to look pretty hard to find something in this film.  The story while not uninteresting does kind of suffer from the cheap production, and the cast is capable but doesn't light the film on fire. 

Richard Carlson is the private investigator, Carlson was a reliable B actor, who never really hit the big time, but was in some entertaining films like, King Solomon's Mines, The Creature From The Black Lagoon and the Elvis Presley/Mary Tyler Moore classic, Change of Habit.  The film also has one time MGM starlet/dancer Lucille Bremer whose career also never took off after a couple of decent opportunities.  Add to this mix, Tor Johnson, who appeared in a lot of Ed Wood films, as a crazy ex fighter, who beats the crap out of Carlson, in probably the film's best scene.

Technically a film noir, with lots of shadows and scenes filmed at night, this film is no masterpiece, but at 62 minutes who's complaining.

62 minutes

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