The Night Holds Terror (1955)

the night holds terror 1955

Straight out of Movie Plots For Dummies. The opening narration says it’s a true story using some of the actual dialogue. That doesn’t make it good. Vince “Ben Casey” Edwards is a cardboard cutout, Jack “Bart Maverick” Kelly seems bored, Hildy Parks is standard issue and the only character with some spark is the early John Cassavetes.

Gene Courtier (Jack Kelly) picks up a hitchhiker. He’s Victor Gosset (Vince Edwards). He pulls a gun and demands Gene’s wallet. He’s only got ten bucks. Following them are Victor’s pals Robert Batsford (John Cassevetes) and Luther Logan (David Cross).

Robert looks like he wants to shoot Gene and fires a couple bullets his way. Then a bright idea. They decide to force Gene to go to the car dealer who holds the pink slip on the car and sell it back to him. The dealer (Barney Phillips) offers two grand. They want it in cash. He’ll have it in the morning.

They decide to wait it out at Gene’s house. Gene’s wife Doris (Hildy Parks) draws the attention of Victor. He dances with her. When he falls asleep Gene grabs a pair of scissors. He hesitates before stabbing him. Bad mistake.

To keep Doris from calling the cops they take Gene with them. She says she’ll call them if she doesn’t hear from them in a half-hour. Victor drives back in a few minutes. He left a piece of paper under the phone receiver. Lucky for her it’s still there. Back in the car Victor tunes into the police scanner.

Doris’s neighbor Phyllis comes over and asks why her kids are so quiet since they were sent over last night. Doris tells her what’s going on. Meanwhile Luther points out that Gene’s father is the wealthy owner of a supermarket chain in L.A. While they think about it Phylliss forces Doris to call the cops. The bulletin is circulated before Doris can call them off.

Victor phones her and says they want two hundred thousand bucks from Gene’s father. Then they head for Gene’s mountain getaway. The movie turns into a police procedural that’s not very interesting as the thieves start to fall out.

This would have been a lot better if there was more focus on Cassevetes. Instead it’s mainly a bore. Skip it.



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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