Sunday, 13 August 2017

DOWN 3 DARK STREETS (1953) Directed by Arnold Laven

Arnold Laven (1922-2009) was a director who spent almost his entire career in television, making episodes of just about every series imaginable. On occasions, however, he would, emerge to direct a mid-budget feature before disappearing back into television land. Among his theatrical feature were GERONIMO, A ROUGH NIGHT IN JERICHO and THE GLORY GUYS, the latter from a Sam Peckinpah script. DOWN 3 DARK STREETS is, I think, one of his most interesting movies. It belongs to that sub-genre of documentary-like thriller purporting to show the investigation methods of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, complete with narration. When FBI agent Zack (played by Kenneth Tobey, taking time off from his monster fighting duties) is murdered, another agent, John "Rip" Ripey, takes on the three cases he was working on in an attempt to discover which of his investigations led to his death. The script is by the writing team of The Gordons (Gordon Gordon and his wife Mildred) based on their own novel. Four years earlier Broderick Crawford had co-starred with Glenn Ford in the film CONVICTED, Neither actors knew that both were destined to play FBI agent Ripley in different films, Crawford in the film under discussion and Ford in 1961's EXPERIMENT IN TERROR, also based on writing by The Gordons. It is perhaps a surprise to find that Gordon Gordon went on to become a stalwart of the Walt Disney studio. The cast of DOWN 3 DARK STREETS is excellent. The ever reliable Crawford headlines with Ruth Roman and Martha Hyer supplying considerable glamour in their excellent performances. Support comes from some familiar character actors including the aforementioned Kenneth Tobey, Claude Akins and William Schallert. All in all, very acceptable late night viewing. Rating ***

Martha Hyer and Broderick Crawford

No comments: