|English subtitles Plunder Road||2 years ago|
|Chinese subtitles Plunder Road||2 years ago|
|Serbian subtitles Plunder Road||2 years ago|
|Spanish subtitles Plunder Road||2 years ago|
A tight, tense, no-frills thriller
8/10 Plunder Road is an object lesson in what can be done with a low-budget and a2 years ago
stripped-down script. The opening moments, at night under a hard rain, are disorienting, swift, and all but silent. A gang of highwaymen has plotted to rob a train of its gold-bullion cargo. Successful, its members split off onto three separate routes to what they hope will be prosperous freedom. The movie follows them dispassionately as they individually reckon with their fates. This is a marvel of action and economy -- one of the most enjoyable offerings from late in the cycle of film noir.
Good 50s crime thriller
7/10 Once again , I'm surprised by the lack of interest in such a good film . A gang of gold robbers melt down a haul of the precious metal to make some very pricey bumpers for their Cadillac . The climax is sensational . An interesting idea (particularly the ending)- well written , well directed and well played by all concerned . Keeps you glued to the screen from start to finish . If you're looking for a good 50s crime thriller this is it .2 years ago
An Odd-But-Interesting Film Noir
8/10 This is another of those "Poverty Row" film noirs, a crime movie made on a low budget but yet decently acted and certainly entertaining.2 years ago
Gene Raymond and Elisha Cook Jr. are known actors to classic film buffs but the rest of the cast may not be too familiar. There is no one star in this film anyway but all give good performances, particularly Raymond, the most interesting member of the gang.
The weak link of the film, at least to me, was the ending...but I give it points for originality. Overall, the story was a simple one, but oddly told. I say that because the important things that happened in the film (the arrests of the criminals, for one thing) would be glossed over quickly while minor things would be detailed longer than necessary. Despite that, the film was interesting thanks to good dialog, realism on the part of the characters and the short running time (73 minutes). Hope to see it on DVD some day.
7/10 That 10-minute opening is a real grabber. I'm still wondering whether the driving rain was real or not. If so, it must have made filming difficult as heck. The problem with an opening like this is once you've hit the highlight how do you fill the remainder, which could easily pale in comparison.2 years ago
Still, it's no problem for this little gem. The remaining time amounts to a real nail-biter in getting away with the gold now that the gang has stolen it. Driving big rigs cross-country is cat-and-mouse with the cops the whole way, as details of the plan unfold, and we get acquainted with the gang members.
Raymond's effective as the disciplined mastermind. I think I counted one smile from him the whole time. Then there's the familiar mug of professional loser Cook Jr. who gets a regular guy role for once. And, of course, there's the underrated Wayne Morris as the dependable Commando, just two years away from an untimely passing.
My one gripe is with the tip-offs to the cops. They're flimsy and contrived, especially the police radio in Roly's (Repp) case. Too bad, because the rest of a tight script manages a surprisingly high degree of believability, thanks to screenwriter Steven Ritch who doubles here as race car guy Frankie.
I expect director Cornfield was hoping for a break-through film on the order of the previous year's The Killing (1956), which thrust Stanley Kubrick into the front rank. He doesn't get it, but he does get one heckuva good little heist film, and so do we. And, oh yes, I could have told the gang to stay off the LA freeways at rush hour.
The machine rages against us
7/10 Being primarily a visual medium, one of the things film does best is illustrate the mechanics of complex items. I refer not only to the machinations of the caper plot so well achieved here, but also to big machines themselves -- trains, trucks, assembly lines. Many a great director has used the relentless workings of machines as a metaphor for inescapable fate -- think especially of Fritz Lang and the openings of Human Desire and Clash by Night.2 years ago
The stars of Plunder Road are the machines themselves -- the overburdened trucks inching their way to freedom, the massive crane and huffing sabotaged train in the rain-pelted robbery scene, the bubbling cauldron at the foundry contributing to the ingenious escape plan, etc. The human characters are sketched briefly, with impressionistic strokes, but it's the mute mechanical accomplices that drive the plot and stick in the mind. This is best illustrated by the cleverly-inserted visit of a smog inspector, and again in the cruelly ironic downfall of the protagonists, who are at the mercy of their guileless vehicles.