|THE SECRET OF CONVICT LAKE (director: Michael Gordon; screenwriters: Victor Trivas/Oscar Saul/story by Anna Hunger & Jack Pollexfen; cinematographer: Leo Tover; editor: James B. Clark; music: Sol Kaplan; cast: Glenn Ford (Jim Canfield), Ethel Barrymore (Granny), Gene Tierney (Marcia Stoddard), Zachary Scott (Johnny Greer), Ann Dvorak (Rachel), Barbara Bates (Barbara Purcell), Cyril Cusack (Edward "Limey" Cockerell), Jack Lambert (Matt Anderson). Jeanette Nolan (Harriet Purcell), Ruth Donnelly (Mary), Ray Teal (Sheriff Bramwell); Runtime: 83; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Frank P. Rosenberg; 20th Century Fox Film; 1951)|
|"The predictable feel-good
melodrama is watchable because of Ford and
by Dennis Schwartz
Gordon ("Boys' Night Out"/"Pillow
Talk"/"Cyrano de Bergerac")
directs this prison escape film in a routine manner.
The banal plot was taken by writers Victor Trivas and
Oscar Saul from the slight story by Anna
Hunger & Jack Pollexfen.
September of 1871, convict Glenn Ford breaks out of a
prison in Carson City, Nevada. While most get
captured, Ford is one of six to reach the secluded
silver mining town of Diablo Lake, in the snowy
California Sierras, where the men are prospecting and
only their women remain behind. The authorities
wrongly believe the escapees froze to death in the
mountains. Ford is the gentle criminal among a
dangerous assortment of killers, rapists and thieves,
who tries unsuccessfully to keep them in check. The
five cons steal $40,000 in town
before fleeing. Outside of town the cons run into the
returning men prospectors and the cons are all killed
in a bloody battle. The town forgives Ford, and he
ends up marrying one of the Lake Diablo residents (Gene
The predictable feel-good melodrama is watchable because of Ford and Tierney.
REVIEWED ON 4/23/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ