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Roadblock (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 17 September 1951 (USA)
Honest LA insurance detective Joe Peters becomes corrupt after falling in love with sensual gold-digger model Diane.

Director:

Harold Daniels

Writers:

Steve Fisher (screenplay), George Bricker (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles McGraw ... Joe Peters
Joan Dixon ... Diane Morley
Lowell Gilmore ... Kendall Webb
Louis Jean Heydt ... Harry Miller
Milburn Stone ... Ray Evans
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Storyline

An L.A. insurance detective starts to get involved with a girl he is increasingly attracted to, even though he sees her as a chiseller. She makes it clear that her tastes are too expensive for him, so he sets about getting a lot of money quickly if illegally. Perhaps too late, she starts to find that she is content with him just the way he is. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

POLICE BULLETS WRITE 'CASE CLOSED' ON SUPER CRIME DEAL! (all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 September 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Walk a Crooked Mile See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of Paul Sawtell's score was simply recycled from the four "Dick Tracy" films that RKO released in the late 1940s. See more »

Goofs

When Joe and Diane have finished breakfast at the motel, Joe lights Diane's cigarette and then puts the matches back in his shirt pocket twice between shots. See more »

Quotes

Diane: Know what "everything" is?
Joe Peters: What?
Diane: Money.
Joe Peters: Happiness doesn't count, huh?
Diane: Can happiness buy money?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits seem to be an early attempt at creative credits where the credits try to fit the blacktop of the road we're "traveling" on. See more »


Soundtracks

So Swell of You
by Leona Davidson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gruff Charles McGraw stars in swift, satisfying noir
27 May 2002 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

Drop a laurel wreath on Charles McGraw's huge, sculptural head – you can almost see it in the Greco-Roman wing of a museum, perched atop a pedestal. He was one of the noir cycle's most serviceable pieces of furniture, along with Raymond Burr and Elisha Cook, Jr. Most often he lurked in the murky background, but sometimes, most memorably in The Narrow Margin, he stayed front and center. He also shuttled uncomplainingly between the underworld and the keepers of law and order. Starring in Roadblock, he tries to straddle both worlds.

This no-frills noir opens with a tease: McGraw stages a murder, then abducts a witness whom he manipulates into buying his way out of certain death with the loot from a bank job. But the movie is setting up McGraw as a straight-arrow insurance investigator who'll stop at nothing to achieve his goal.

Until he crosses paths with Joan Dixon, that is. A crafty gold-digger, she finds him sweet but `honest;' she's saving her sexual artillery for more affluent game, which she finds in a smooth racketeer (Lowell Gilmore). But McGraw can't get her out of his blood and, knowing that furs and jewels are the path to her mercenary heart, strikes up a deal with the mobster. He offers him a million-and-a-quarter, insured by his company, which he knows will be traveling by train; if Gilmore pulls the job off, McGraw will settle for $400 grand.

The irony – and the script's least convincing turn – is that Dixon falls for McGraw anyway and renounces her grasping ways. (Not only does this ring false, it also makes her far less arresting a character.) Despite second thoughts, McGraw gets his share of the take. Then, naturally, he's assigned to the team of investigators trying to crack the case....

Harold Daniels, who had a brief and largely undistinguished career as both actor and director, keeps the action swift and simple – it races down an hour-plus of highway until it reaches its titular roadblock. The movie goes down as easily and satisfyingly as a hot dog and a beer.


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