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: Naked Alibi (1954)  ( 919 )
cigar joe
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« : December 07, 2011, 07:46:52 PM »

Director Jerry Hopper with Stars: Sterling Hayden, Gloria Grahame, Gene Barry, Max Showalter, Marcia Henderson and Chuck Connors.



Story is Al Willis (Barry) is picked up for drunk & disorderly conduct without ID and is in an interrogation room at the local Police Station being questioned about some robberies. A detective lieutenant (Showalter) is questioning the belligerent Willis.  A scuffle results in Barry smacking Showalter in the head with an ashtray and threatening the cops that he will get even, the two other cops in the room subdue him just as Chief of Detectives Conroy (Hayden) walks into the room.

Willis is identified as a good citizen and owner of a bakery, he apologizes for being drunk and is let go. Sometime later Showalter is gunned down in the street at a police call box. Conroy remembers Willis's threat and  hauls in him in after a brief chase. Conroy (who has a reputation for brutality) develops a hard-on for Willis convinced that he is the killer, but Willis and his lawyer pull strings and Willis is released. All hell breaks loose when the other two cops in the interrogation room are killed by a car bomb and Conroy is photographed attacking Willis. Conroy looses his job but becomes obsessed with "getting" Willis stalking him around town.

Conroy stalking Willis in a stylistically Noir sequence.



Willis getting un-nerved decides to leave town and his wife (Henderson) and child to take a vacation away from Conroy. Up to this point the film effectively has you sympathizing with Willis against loose cannon Conroy, but when Willis ends up in "Border Town" and assumes a new identity and joins gal pal B-Girl chantreuse Marianna (Grahame) our perceptions change drastically.

Femme Fatale Grahame with director Hooper showing the inside of her thigh  :o



Grahame with both Barry



& Hayden  >:D



It would have helped if this film would have been shot more on actual locations as it is its almost all Universal backlot, it picks up when it moves to "Border Town" (Tijuana) and Barry is revealed, but that location looks minimally used  at best, it pales in comparison to say "Touch of Evil". Its also one of those quasi Noirs that take place way too much in the sunshine for the first 3rd of the film. But Barry is way better than I was expecting (showing a lot of range), and Grahame & Hayden are great as usual, Connors plays Conroy's second in command adequately, but the budget lets this film linger in the second tier of Noirs. Graham sings a song at the bar obviously a lip-sync, but shakes that thing a bit doing it so who cares, lol.  I'm a Gloria & Sterling fan so its an essential for me. 7/10


« : December 08, 2011, 09:04:22 AM cigar joe »

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« #1 : August 17, 2018, 03:17:05 AM »

Great pics as usual with your review CJ. I absolutely worship Gloria Grahame so I hope I'm not overselling this by giving it a 9/10 rating on IMDb because of that fact. She looks different in every movie to me and I loved her Latin look in this. I was fascinated the moment that she made her nervous sex-kitten entrance to sing in the bar. And her shimmy, shimmy, shimmy  was great.

I think is the best Gene Barry performance I've  seen to date and perhaps he deserved better roles on the strength of this. His ambiguous, sleaze-ball/clean-cut character was so different and took me by surprise and he's looking good in this too.

I enjoyed unpicking the complicated and unpredictable plot. I felt I was being toyed with by the film and I enjoyed every moment of being taken for that ride.



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