Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Loophole (1954)


*** out of 5

"We'd like to recheck your big money."

This falls into the subgenre of film noirs that one might call "The Wrong Man" films (appropriate, I think given Hitchcock produced a film with exactly that title which perfectly represents the genre).
Barry Sullivan is a banker who takes the heat when a man posing as a bank examiner empties his large bills out for him. (this won't be the last we'll see of this occupation-  there's another prominent example coming up in a future film).  It starts a bit slow by attempting the documentary-style intro that was made popular by films like Kansas City Confidential, but once we get into the action, there's little question that this is solid noir. Charles McGraw plays an insurance investigator like he did in Roadblock, but this time a much more tenacious, pit-bull type, who just won't give his man a chance once he gets in his mind that Sullivan is guilty.  Dorothy Malone plays Sullivan's supportive wife, standing by him despite all evidence.  The film also has an excellent Femme Fatale character in Mary Beth Hughes, whose greed drives the criminal to his actions.  Don Beddoe makes a unique mark as the guilty man, a middle-aged shlub working at another bank, just trying to get enough money keep his girl happy.

The result of this mix is terrific entertainment- for a B-film.

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