Cage of Evil (1960) Poster


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OK B-pic crime drama
rduchmann31 May 2000
Disgruntled cop Ron Foster, passed over for promotion one time too many, is seduced by B-girl Patricia Blair into a diamond theft scheme. And then things go downhill! Considering the general run of director Cahn's many B-pix of the 1950s and early 1960s, this one is rather above average. The look is more standard b/w TV of the late 50s than film noir, but the two leads are very good and put some life into it. There is more outdoor shooting than usual, and the ending adheres to the Production Code of the day.
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Routine to the point of dull but never actually bad...crime, love, and diamonds
secondtake23 April 2011
Cage of Evil (1960)

This totally defines the B-movie, or the average B-movie. We sometimes think of great B-movies (like "Detour" or "Naked Kiss") and see how a small budget only encouraged breaking rules, or ignoring them, and finding a new kind of intensity that worked on its own terms. Well, in "Cage of Evil" the acting, writing, directing and filming are firmly compromised without finding that special territory of audaciousness, or raw violence, or innuendo, or simple believability that makes these things special.

That said, this isn't half bad. I mean, it's like seeing an episode of Law and Order or some show you already like, and it's interesting and often captivating, and there are little moments of surprise and sympathy, and you finish it thinking it was pretty decent.

The lead is a cop, a detective named Scott Harper, and it turns out he's corrupt, and at risk are a cache of rough diamonds. The interactions between the cop and his boss, and his colleagues, is believable if slightly stiff, but in particular, as Harper (played by Ron Foster) goes from one side to the other, we come to see his duplicity from the inside. He's really good.

There are so many well worn clichés here you might flinch, but they're good ones (convertibles at night, night club dames, suspicious mobsters, cops on the prowl) and it's edited fast enough to survive its glitches. Of course, for the diamond heist to succeed it helps to have a cop on the inside, casual and confident, and a dame to fall in love with him. Foster is a regular in films directed by Edward L. Cahn, who is a standard for B-movies (made for small time Robert E. Kent Productions under a variety of names). In a way this is the equivalent of a television series with less frequency--meaning they were made to formula, and fairly cheaply. By 1960 old Hollywood was thoroughly dead, and television thoroughly alive, and this was one of the ways it kept going. There's enough going on in movies like this to keep a second feature audience, and to play on television itself shortly after.

But I enjoyed it partly because it takes itself very seriously. There isn't that corny or airy edge to some television, even crime dramas, at the same time. This is a late comer to the crime/noir cycle of the previous 20 years. Never mind the canned overdub narration. Sit through some scenes that talk too much. You might find the rest of it pretty decent.
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Slips in under the radar
susansweb1 September 2001
Pretty good little "B" crime movie. Granted the plot was nothing new but movies are still being made with the same story. Ted Knight was a riot. It seemed like he tried to steal every scene he was in (which wasn't that many). I like the narration, it made the story seem better. I guess this film would be a good candidate for MSTK but certainly wasn't awful. Our hero/antihero? was a little stiff and his slang didn't quite jibe with his stiff suits and clean cut demeanor. It was funny watching "squares" cut loose though. Recommended time filler but not a whole lot of action. Gotta watch out for that plumber though.
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A lesser work from director Edward Cahn
gordonl5624 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers

A somewhat predicable low budget crime thriller, that suffers from a lack of thrill. Police Detective Ron Foster is assigned a case involving the robbery of a wholesale diamond seller. One man is in hospital suffering from a blow to the head. The Police soon discover that the alarm system has been sabotaged. Foster suspects one of the employees of being an inside man for the heist. Foster roughs up the man who turns out to have nothing to do with the robbery.

Foster could not have picked a worse time to lay hands on a civilian. He is up for a promotion and the incident has a negative impression on the higher ups. Foster is most annoyed with being skipped over.

The diamond case soon has a possible lead. Patricia Blair, a girl popular with certain underworld types is looked into. Foster goes undercover and is soon swapping spit with the pretty blonde. Foster falls for the bimbo and is soon in cahoots with Blair. Blair is in fact a middleman between underworld types and high end fences, who buy the stolen jewels etc.

Foster and Blair plan on setting up a meeting between the diamond thief and a big fence. They intend to take out both and keep the cash and the stones. They plan on then heading south of border time for sunshine and good times.

This idea needless to say hits a few speed bumps. The bodies soon start to pile up, including Foster's Police partner, Harp McGuire. It is only because Foster is a cop that he can stay one step ahead of everything. This of course cannot last for long. The Police soon tumble to Foster's bit in the killings. Foster and Blair snag a flight to Mexico and hopefully safety.

No such luck, as the Federale's have been alerted by the US side. Foster draws his piece but comes out on the losing end of the exchange. Blair and the stones are grabbed up for return to the States.

Prolific b-film helmsman Edward L. Cahn loses the pace with this one. Cahn cranked out over 125 features during his 30 years in the business. He pumped out several above average b-features, including, DESTINATION MURDER, GIRLS IN PRISON, INSIDE THE MAFIA, THREE CAME TO KILL and the 50's sci-fi classic, IT, THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE.

Patricia Blair was known to a generation of TV viewers from her roles on, THE RIFLEMAN and the long running DANIEL BOONE series.
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jewel heist drama
ksf-226 March 2018
Ron Foster (who ??) is Detective Harper, gunning for a promotion (get it?) Harper is put on a jewel heist in Los Angeles, and the case kind of starts out like an episode of Dragnet. Keep an eye out for Ted Knight... as one of the cops! Harper tries to cozy up to the suspect's girlfriend (Pat Blair). the girlfriend cozies back, and has some dark, heavy-handed suggestions of her own. Now Harper is in deeper than ever, and he's not sure what to do. All hell breaks loose, and everyone is figuring out their own next step. It's pretty good. rated pretty low, as of today. i liked it more than some of the others. Directed by Ed Cahn.
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Bland and Routine but Slightly Entertaining
Michael_Elliott10 August 2012
Cage of Evil (1960)

** (out of 4)

Routine and rather lifeless crime picture has Detective Scott Harper (Ben Foster) getting assigned to a diamond heist, which left one man dead. The detective starts to investigate showgirl Holly Taylor (Patricia Blair) who has a connection the big crime boss but soon the two fall in love and the detective decides to go bad and get the diamonds for himself. CAGE OF EVIL features just about every cliché you can imagine from the crime genre and by the time it's over you'll be slightly entertained but there's still no question that you've seen this type of thing so many times before and this here doesn't add anything new. I mentioned being slightly entertained and the main reason for this is that the detective is simply so stupid and makes so many stupid mistakes that you really can't help but be entertained by how many dumb things he does. I mean, it's easy to believe that he'd turn bad after being passed over on a promotion but at the same time he just makes one mistake after another. A detective should know how to work around the system but this guy makes such boneheaded mistakes that even a newborn baby wouldn't do something of the things he does. Another problem is that director Edward L. Cahn really doesn't bother building up any real drama or suspense. The entire film comes off rather flat and it appears that the director was just wanting to get everything on film, on budget and he didn't stretch to try and do anything special. The story itself is pretty familiar stuff but the final ten minutes do start to pick up and lead to a nice ending. CAGE OF EVIL really isn't recommended to anyone except for those who must see every crime pic from this era.
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Handsome Foster--Ending given away in opening scene---flat predictable no suspense.
peru1-595-63010620 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
A handsome Ron Foster is about the only fun thing in this film.

The ending is given away at the very beginning by the narrator so forget any suspense. "This was the last crime Scott Harper (Ron Foster) would investigate where did he go wrong...." What a fizzle that is.

It is a typical B production crime cop turns bad plot. I am not sure why it is labeled noir it seems a typical crime movie to me---noir I expect the unexpected. This thing was boiler plate.

Poor Harper is beset by the worst luck imaginable and makes so many dumb decisions. This movie is for the uninformed audiences. I am sure even in 1960 Mexico had extradition treaties with the US...Harper should have known he could be tailed by the rental car and dumped it off someplace other than the airport like maybe another rental car agency then a taxi..... Or he could have rented it in a different name I mean they were on the lam. Also this guy was a detective for 7 years he would know the ins and outs of the system.

Of course this being Hollywood crime doesn't pay--DULL.

It is entertaining if you have absolutely nothing else.

I give it 2 stars.

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OK Little B-Flick
dougdoepke25 March 2019
Ten years earlier this programmer would likely have been a noir. As is, it's a pretty good little crime drama. Detective Harper is a violence prone cop, probably why he doesn't get promoted. And being a cop appears his whole life; that is, until he meets spider woman Holly who's connected to a jewel heist that Harper's investigating. Well, one thing leads to another, and soon he's caring more about her than solving the crime. Still, he's a sharp cookie in covering his tracks, especially now that he's got Holly and a bead on the jewels, and maybe a new carefree life away from an unappreciative detective bureau.

The principals do pretty well in their roles, while I couldn't help noticing a resemblance between actor Foster and the better known Tony Curtis. The screenplay does a pretty good job tracking Harper's absorption into the cage of evil. However, veteran budget director Cahn adds little to the filming. One story change I think would have deepened things is that of giving Harper a home life, maybe a wife. That way his down-spiral would have had a tragic dimension as well as being an unfortunate tale of woe.

Anyway, the flick's better than I expected without being anything special.
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