Highway Dragnet (1954)
Wow is this an up and down production. Most of it is rather good, with a handful of supporting actors around the dependable leading role played by Richard Conte. And the plot is solid if a little familiar. Conte, a returned G.I. from Korea, is falsely accused of killing a girl in Las Vegas. And to save himself he has to resort to extreme measures, like escaping from the local cops and more or less kidnapping a couple of attractive women along the way.
One of the highlights is the range of location shooting. Foremost, briefly, is Las Vegas, circa 1954. It will blow your mind. It's worth watching the first fifteen minutes alone. Then there are lots of desert scenes leading to a grand finale at the Salton Sea, which was famously flooded. This is amazing stuff, buildings have submerged, and a wide open landscape with hardly a car or house.
And the interaction between Conte and the two women is good if somewhat predictable (one of them falls in love with him, the other wants to kill him). There is even the beginning of a photo shoot at a country motel, with a couple of Graflex cameras shown nicely. It all has a curious low budget tension.
But the tension is often resolved or delayed by a sudden bit of luck. Just when Conte is going to get caught, the phone rings, or that kind of thing. And then the ending, which I can't give away, but ugh. It had huge potential, and was going great overall, until this preposterous scene where a confession is shouted over the waves.
So, take the lumps with the cream here. It's a short, fast, enjoyable movie overall.
Highway Dragnet (1954) 1080p YIFY Movie
Highway Dragnet (1954) 1080p
Wrongly accused of killing a bar-girl he was seen with earlier, a Korean War vet flees from the police in the company of a woman photographer and her young female model.
IMDB: 6.33 Likes
The Synopsis for Highway Dragnet (1954) 1080p
Mrs. Cummings, a free-lance magazine photographer and a recent widow after her husband committed suicide, and her model, Susan, are on an assignment to cover resorts California and Nevada. Driving west from Las Vegas they pick up Jim Henry, a recently-discharged Marine, who is hitchhiking to the home of a friend near the Salton Sea. Meanwhile, back in Las Vegas, a blonde known casually by Jim, is found murdered. Jim becomes the object of a manhunt directed by Police-Lieut. White Eagle of the Las Vegas police.
The Director and Players for Highway Dragnet (1954) 1080p
The Reviews for Highway Dragnet (1954) 1080p
Fast twisty sometimes nutty sometimes beautiful very low budget escapismReviewed bysecondtakeVote: 6/10
Highway Dragnet (1954)
'Highway Dragnet' is mediocre murder mystery where twist is uncovered before half the film is over. Rest of the movie we can enjoy by the numbers pursuit picked with cliché tension risers and occasional quirky characters for comic relief.
Richard Conte stars as James Henry, a marine wrongfully accused for the murder of fashion model. He escapes from the police and while on the flee he helps out two women with car trouble - photographer Mrs. Cummings (probably Joan Bennet's worst performance of her career) and another fashion model Susan (Wanda Hendrix).
It is really a second rate film-noir that some Roger Corman fans might look out for curiosity to see the film based on the screenplay that legendary 'King of the Bs' ever sold. He also served as associate producer just for an experience. There can be no better film school than is the experience working on a motion picture.
Highway Dragnet is directed by Nathan Juran and written by Herb Meadow, U.S.Anderson, Roger Corman and Jerome Odlum. It stars Richard Conte, Joan Bennett, Wanda Hendrix and Reed Hadley. Music is by Edward J. Kay and cinematography by John J. Martin.
All I did was buy her a drink. One drink, and for 65 cents I bought a martini mixed with dynamite!
Though indexed in some sources as film noir, this barely resonates as such. It is basically a man on the lam picture, where Conte is wrongly accused of murder and has to go on the run to escape police arrest. He hitches with two gals, who start to become wary of their newly acquired companion. So, we have cops trying to capture their target, with near misses and with Reed "The Voice" Hadley heading up the dragnet operation, whilst there's the mystery element of who is the killer hanging in the air. Cast are fine and the production is standard fare, the finale at least serves up an atmospheric locale, and there's some decent snatches of dialogue. But really it's average at best and not one to seek out as a matter of urgency. 5/10