Bill Georgaris of TSPDT has finally decided to start updating his film noir page. This means the old version of…
Make Haste to Live
WHO IS THIS MAN...Is he out of her past...or is he a killer in the night!
A single mother in New Mexico senses her own death in the hands of a mysterious stalker.
Better than average drama about a woman whose troubled past catches up with her and how she attempts to escape it again. Occasionally stretches believability but builds its tension well.
Make Haste to Live (William A. Seiter, 1954) 5/10
A woman (Dorothy McGuire) is horrified to see the return of her psychotic husband (Stephen McNally) after 18 years and he is still in the mood to harm her. Very low budget and it shows although lovely McGuire is very good as always.
Crystal (Dorothy McGuire) thinks that she is being followed by a man. She tells the story of her gangster husband Steve (Stephen McNally) who has been in prison. The stranger is indeed her husband, the father of her daughter Randy (yes really) (played by Mary Murphy) who has no idea that "Uncle" Steve is her father.
The film couldn't decide if Crystal was scared of Steve or not, she behaved in ways that a woman worried for her life and scared for her daughter wouldn't have behaved, and as the film progressed this became more and more obvious. A good start, an implausible middle and a very silly ending.
When her gangster husband is paroled, a woman fears for herself and her teenage daughter. Sounds like a good "out of the past" premise, but turns out to be a tepid thriller. There are brief hints of danger but they fizzle out, with Stephen McNally being a rather non-threatening presence and Dorothy McGuire uneven in her characterization. One minute she's haunted by nightmares, the next she seems quite comfortable with the situation. This thing just has no guts to it. What kind of movie teases the audience with a bottomless pit and then denies them the payoff? I've heard of Chekhov's Gun, but Chekhov's Hole? A nice score by Elmer Bernstein is wasted on this humdrum do-nothing picture. Rating: Poor
A complete list of the films in John Grant's A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir: The Essential Reference Guide, an…