The kind of film (made in six days, almost entirely in a Poverty Row studio, its extensive road scenes shot with back projection) that would be impossible to make today, even as a TV movie. Now it would require 100% locations (the 'art' of studio shooting having been discredited and thus lost), and the minimal narrative would never justify a go-ahead (pianist Neal is bumming from New York to rejoin his girl in California until tripped by hostile fate and the literally amazing femme fatale Savage). Neither pure thriller nor pure melodrama (though it has its true complement of doomed lovers, dead bodies, and a cruel sexual undertow), on an emotional level it most resembles the wonderful purple-pulp fiction of David Goodis. Passion joins with folly to produce termite art par excellence.
Cast and crew
Edgar G Ulmer
Tom Neal Ann Savage Claudia Drake Edmund MacDonald Tim Ryan Esther Howard