Countdown to 5K! – #71 – There Was a Crooked Man… (1970)

This is my 4946th Review

Original Rating prediction – 7/10


“[Entering with a mask intending to rob the family] Ah, nothing like fried chicken while it’s still hot and crispy! So the quicker you open that safe and give us the money, the quicker you can get back to that tasty-looking chicken.” – Paris Pittman

Number of Times Seen – 1 (18 Feb 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A number of prisoners in an Arizona prison try to find a way to plan an escape.

My Take on it – This is another film on this list that I had never heard of beforehand and chose it for this series because it has both Kirk Douglas and Henry Fonda in it.

Unfortunately, despite their presence, this film is pretty uninteresting from start to finish.

For some reason they seem to be trying much too hard to make this film a comedy instead of a drama and that takes so much away from the enjoyment of this story.

If they would have chosen to make this drama, there are ways that the story could have seemed much more interesting and even poignant, but when trying it as humor, it just falls flat.

The cast is also better suited for drama and with the likes of Fonda, Douglas, Hume Cronyn, John Randolph, Burgess Meredith and Warren Oates,, it’s quite a surprise that they didn’t try that way first because all of them are superb dramatic actors and each has numerous performances that surpass what they do here.

The movie has an ongoing joke about a character promising to everyone a share of his loot, but it is overused and loses any amount of humor it might have had if it had been used less frequently.

I’d still be interested in seeing this kind of film make as a drama because it has so much more potential.

Bottom Line – Pretty uninteresting and mediocre prison break film that tries too hard to be funny instead of giving us an interesting and poignant story. The cast are much better suited in dramatic roles and most of them feel wasted here. Fonda, Douglas, Cronyn, Randolph, Meredith and Oates have all done much better films and played better roles more effectively. The gimmick of Douglas promising to share his loot with everyone is a bit overused and this would have been much more interesting as a straight western prison break story.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Hume Cronyn was diagnosed with optic cancer, which required the surgical removal of an eye. Cronyn volunteered to work past 5 p.m. and revamp his shooting schedule so he could finish up his role as soon as possible. Although the situation was very stressful for director Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Cronyn handled the situation very professionally. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)


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One thought on “Countdown to 5K! – #71 – There Was a Crooked Man… (1970)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1970 | MovieRob

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