Cloudburst (1951)

Good one with Robert Preston as a man out to get revenge on the couple that ran down his wife. So he doesn’t have to put on a British accent the story has him as a Canadian whose family moved to London when he was a child.

John Graham (Robert Preston) heads a group of cryptographers. They break codes for the government. During the war he was in the resistance as a Colonel. That’s where he met his wife Carol (Elizabeth Sellars) She’s pregnant with their first child. The couple couldn’t be closer. John shows her a list in code. He says it’s items he’ll choose from to buy her a birthday present.

One dark and stormy night Carol drives her sister to the train station.  Since the rain has stopped John says he’ll walk to the station to meet her. They meet up on a deserted road. There’s a farm for sale. John says he wants to buy it.

A constable comes by and tells them a couple killed a nightwatchman. Carol says if she were his widow she’d get them before anyone else. The constable leaves and Carol gets out of the car to look at the field. A car is speeding down the road. Carol slips. She’s hit. John tries to stop the driver from getting away. The man’s female companion stabs John’s hand with a scissor and they take off. Carol’s a goner.

John memorized the license number but doesn’t mention that to the police. He also says the car only had one occupant. He can’t give a description. John visits some of the members of his unit for help in tracing the car and the driver. He doesn’t tell them why.

He manages to track down the man. He’s a former boxer who quit the ring two years ago. John forces him to tell the address of the woman. Then he puts him in his car and they drive to a deserted spot. John tells him to get out and then says he has ten seconds so…start running. John mows him down.

Inspector Davis of Scotland Yard investigates. He calls on John for some help. He wants him to break a code. At the boxer’s place the police found a piece of paper with a list. Davis doesn’t know it but it’s the birthday list. It fell out of John’s pocket. That’s his first mistake.

John becomes more driven to get the woman. There’s some good suspense as the story of a good guy whose world ended won’t let anything stop him from his goal.

If you’ve only seen Robert Preston as “The Music Man” (1967), check out his past black and white movies for his serious side.

Elizabeth Sellars

About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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