Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Six Bridges to Cross (1955)

Director: Joseph Pevney

Writers: Sydney Boehm, Joseph F. Dinneen

Composers: Frank Skinner, Herman Stein

Starring: Tony Curtis, George Nader, Julie Adams, Jay C. Flippen, Sal Mineo, Jan Merlin, Richard Castle, William Murphy, Kendall Clark, Don Keefer, Harry Bartell, Tito Vuolo, Jeff Chandler

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Is This The Unsolved Secret Behind the Great $2,500,000 Boston Robbery?

Plot: Youth gang leader Jerry Florea is shot fleeing from a crime scene by rookie cop Ed Gallagher. Result: "he'll never have children of his own." Ed and Jerry develop a mutually beneficial friendship: Jerry gets the benefit of the doubt, Ed gets information that brings him rapid promotion. As years and jail terms go by, Ed's friendship with this likable rogue becomes strained, as hope for his reform dwindles. Can Jerry redeem himself in the end?

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

Set your expectations a little lower if you're looking for a heist picture.  This isn't it.  Crimes are committed but they're mere seconds per whack.  This is a dramatic character study of a criminal, Jerry (Curtis) who has spent his life unchanging.  He befriends the cop, Ed (Nader) who shot him trying to get away from a burglary when he was a kid and he plays the cop's game for years.   Jerry is one big disappointment to Ed and his wife Ellen (Adams) but they still love him with diminishing return.  The performances are solid and Curtis is fantastic.  I don't think I've ever seen him better, but then I've only seen a few of his pictures).  The story is engaging enough (thanks to Curtis' charisma and enthusiasm) but I was let down by the lack of any heist action and onscreen criminal activity.  I understand that it's my preconceived notions of what the film was that's the culprit and not the fault of the picture.  The film was shot widescreen but good luck finding it anyway but fullscreen.  Maybe this has turned up on TCM that way but it's a Universal picture and I don't know if TCM shows their movies.  A couple of interesting bits, this is Sal Mineo's first movie and the internet says that Sammy Davis Jr. lost his eye in a car accident on the way to record the movie's titular song.  I knew about the accident but never remembered this flick had a connection. 

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