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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Deep Down Goes This Budget Maze


A Game Cast Unravels The Crooked Web (1955)

Richard Denning and Mari Blanchard go to enormous effort getting justice done for ... but wait, any recitation of plot will unscrew a tight cork that is The Crooked Web, noir product of Sam Katzman's Clover company, and one of the twistiest yarns anyone thought up for 50's budget-making. You think it's headed one way, then comes the flip, these not confined to a "surprise" end. Don't come in pre-judging Denning, Blanchard, and Frank Lovejoy's characters: they've all got tricks up sleeves. Don't know how much The Crooked Web cost, but it brought home $264K to distributing Columbia --- would that have been enough to feed hungry mouths at Clover? They'd actually do better with horror/sci-fi (Creature With The Atom Brain, for instance, took $415K), but Katzman couldn't thrive on monsters alone. The Crooked Web is available from Columbia On-Demand in an LA-location bright 1.85, excellent in all ways.

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