Private Hell 36

Minor by Siegel standards, but still an admirably neat, tight B thriller from Lupino's Filmakers company (she also co-scripted), with Cochran and Duff as two LA cops who accidentally stumble on the loot during a robbery investigation, the latter reluctantly playing along with the former's impulsive decision to keep it for themselves. Familiar stuff, with conscience and comeuppance dogging their every move (the title refers to the trailer park where their guilty secret is stashed), but given a vivid edge by the characterisations (Cochran the likeable good-timer, Duff the dour family man) and the plausible motivations. A fellow cop is killed in the line of duty, and the latent resentment of men risking their lives for too little pay is given a turn of the screw because Duff now has a baby to provide for, and Cochran falls hard for a singer (Lupino) who loves him but asks for the moon. Siegel's direction (the opening sequence in particular, with an off-duty Cochran stumbling perilously in on a store robbery while on his way home, is a gem) is impeccable.

Release details

Duration: 81 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Don Siegel
Screenwriter: Collier Young, Ida Lupino
Cast: Ida Lupino
Steve Cochran
Warren Duff
Dean Jagger
Dorothy Malone
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