Rouse's first film as director (co-written with Clarence Greene, with whom he had scripted DOA the previous year). The first half is a vividly etched portrait of small-town unease as a black child is reported missing, the suspicions deepening a racial divide that threatens to escalate into racial violence on both sides as circumstances suggest that a white transient (Morgan) had something to do with her disappearance. The discovery that the little girl, scarcely more than a baby, has in fact fallen down an abandoned well, opens a safety valve; and the rest of the film is devoted to the rescue operation. It still grips, but in a more overtly crowd-pleasing way, what with even the most bigoted coming round to the side of the angels, and the hazards of the rescue milked for all they are worth. An impressive piece, all the same, brilliantly shot by Ernest Laszlo.
Cast and crew
Leo Popkin, Russell Rouse
Russell Rouse, Clarence Greene
Ernest Anderson Christine Larson Barry Kelley Henry Morgan Richard Rober Maidie Norman