A former child actor (City Lights) and celebrated editor (for Ford; an Oscar-winner for Body and Soul), Parrish directed one master-piece (The Wonderful Country), one almost-masterpiece (The Purple Plain) and a gallery of engaging, civilised movies before getting tangled in the shoals of the swinging British '60s. His major theme is of a man seeking not so much an identity as a place to belong, and here, in his directorial debut, the theme lurks behind a low-budget thriller framework as ex-bookie Powell exits the slammer to get revenge on the bad guys who put him there. Shot in 22 days (Parrish rewrote the script with William Bowers), it's the kind of movie in which, told to expect someone extra for dinner, delicious Fleming smiles 'OK, I'll put more water in the soup'. With excellent support players like a young, thin (for him) William Conrad and Jay Adler, this is a fast, crisp and laconic delight.
Cast and crew
Robert Parrish, William Bowers
Dick Powell Rhonda Fleming Richard Erdman William Conrad Jean Porter Regis Toomey Jay Adler