Plunder Road

The Night of the Following Day has exactly the same grip on action for the opening scenes of a diesel train robbery in the rain at night.

Millions in gold are then hauled out of Utah toward Los Angeles in three trucks, each meets with a separate fate.

The first driver dies moving furniture for his wife.

The second pair are grossly overweight.

The third pair are joined in California by the mastermind’s girl, who can now have everything she wants, she’s told, only she already has it, she says. And so the final image of a Cadillac with solid gold trim and the two dead drivers and the girl in the hands of the law.


the 3rd voice

A singular masterpiece on a more recondite theme even than The Night of the Following Day and nevertheless a stylistic precedent.

Critics have been slow to the point of contrariousness, thus a “standard suspense story” (Eleanor Mannikka of Rovi) “let down by its all too conventional ending” (TV Guide, noting Edmond O’Brien’s “fine tour de force”), Leonard Maltin, “neat”. A.H. Weiler of the New York Times revealed the criminal in every critic, “they all prove, once again, that murder does not pay” but “do make it worth about 75 cents on the dollar.”

From the author of Peau de banane (dir. Marcel Ophuls), Les Félins (dir. René Clément), Don’t Just Stand There (dir. Ron Winston), The Deep (dir. Peter Yates), Vivement dimanche! (dir. François Truffaut), and The Hot Spot (dir. Dennis Hopper), cinematography by Ernest Haller, score by Johnny Mandel providing very inspired criticism.

Halliwell’s Film Guide, “minor thriller... letdown.”

The elements of the composition are a woman’s wrath and a daring impersonation, just so, critics have a score to settle in their own minds. O’Brien plays the genuine article, briefly, and the ersatz, a brilliantly constructed performance. Laraine Day is the fury hell hath none like, Olga San Juan a lady of the Acapulco evening, Julie London a ringer for the schemer. The screenplay (“his scripts seemed too sordid for serious consideration,” says Andrew Sarris in The American Cinema) is by the director.





Pressure Point

It is precisely the identification of a Nazi that is the point in a difficult psychiatric treatment, related in a flashback to bolster a doctor with a similar case.

One was in federal prison on a charge of sedition in 1942, the other is a Negro boy twenty years later with an ingrained loathing of whites. Both doctors, Negro in the first instance, white in the second, have to understand the psychology of the patient.

This profound teaching was altogether lost on the New York Times, “almost completely misguided,” said Bosley Crowther.


The Night of the Following Day

The young girl in love with her chauffeur.

One blinks, reading the reviews, at discovering that not one critic (Howard Thompson, Variety, Roger Ebert, and absolutely Dave Kehr) saw what he was looking at.