After escaping from prison, Glenn Griffin, his brother Hal and a third inmate Sam Kobish randomly select a house in a well-to-do suburb of Indianapolis in which to hide out. The home belongs to the Hilliard family, Dan and Ellie who live there with their 19-year old daughter and their young son.
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It keeps tension without much action. Instead, there's a psychological and even social conflicts to keep viewer engaged through the whole running time. With so many tools to keep the plot intriguingly, it's hard for an ending to be anything but ugly, regardless of the outcome. The cast brings their A game, but final impression is not daring enough to reward this flick as being something more than playing safe.
One of the finest films of its era; a major instalment in the canon of a great director, and an equally impressive final-years effort from a great actor. Little else of its time has dissected human animality and its fundamental values-- both often mired by blind social conformity, as fully realized in its opening moments-- as profoundly, or evocatively.
A dense cat and mouse game featuring old Bogart, still pulling it off, maybe not as menacing as he could have, but it is his charcters rogue-like ambiguity that carries the movie. A hostage drama at its core, the movie features a many characters and depicts their conflicting interests. Of course, the increasing tension between the captors and the glooming disaster is what fires up the heat of suspense.