A number of otherwise insignificant small-town stories erupt into drama when a gang of hoodlums decides to rob the local bank. A father looking for pride in his son’s eyes, a timid clerk who is a peeping tom by night, a man striving to rewin his wife’s love, an Amish farmer faced with viciousness, and a proper older woman turned thief, all find themselves entangled with the bank robbers as a peaceful weekend turns violent. —Screen Archives
The son of famed animator Max Fleischer (Popeye, Betty Boop et. al.), Richard O. Fleischer was a psychology student at Brown University when he dropped out in favor of the Yale Drama Department. At age 21, Fleischer organized a campus theatrical troupe called the Arena Players. In 1942, he went to work for RKO-Pathe in New York, editing the company’s weekly newsreels before producing and directing his own short-subject projects, including the March of Time-like This is America and a series of gagged-up silent-film vignettes titled Flicker Flashbacks. In 1946, he headed to Hollywood, there to direct feature films for Pathe’s parent studio, RKO Radio; his last short-subject effort was the Oscar-winning Design for Death (1948). At first limited to “B” pictures, Fleischer gained a loyal critical following with such topnotch films as Follow Me Quietly (1949) and The Narrow Margin (1952).
Perhaps sensing that RKO was on its last legs, Fleischer moved on to MGM, then to Walt Disney… read more
A tense, gripping showdown on an Amish farm is the culmination of Fleischer's fascinating hybrid of small town melodrama grafted onto a traditional bank heist picture. The outcome could have been a mess but with a talented pro at the helm this film never falters. Fleischer proves himself to have mastery of the 'Scope screen and has a strong cast to work with including Marvin at his ruthless best. Highly recommended..
When Douglas Sirk meets Don Siegel, in the Arizona desert you find Richard Fleischer behind a cactus. Ten first class actors in glorious Technicolor and infamous situations. Voyeurism, nymphomania and other perversions. Check out the zone 2 DVD /Blu Ray just released in France. A must. Masterpiece. And I mean it.