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The Well

High drama and suspense are embodied strongly in this production. Writers took the [true-life] Kathy Fiscus episode, in which a California child was trapped in an old well, and used this as a story hook for a tense and gripping screenplay. For purposes of drama, they have made this key character a Negro child, and added the Negro problem in build-up of plot. It's unusually well handled.

High drama and suspense are embodied strongly in this production. Writers took the [true-life] Kathy Fiscus episode, in which a California child was trapped in an old well, and used this as a story hook for a tense and gripping screenplay. For purposes of drama, they have made this key character a Negro child, and added the Negro problem in build-up of plot. It’s unusually well handled.

Plot has for its motivation the measures taken by Negro populace of a small town, after a white man comes under suspicion of having kidnapped the girl.

Considerable editing during the early rescue sequences would speed action and lift interest, which is pretty static here, but in the main production is progressively suspenseful.

Cast, headed by Richard Rober, as sheriff in charge of settling threatened mob violence and rescue of the child, is uniformly strong.

The Well

  • Production: Popkin/United Artists. Director Russell Rouse, Clarence Greene; Producer Harry M. Popkin; Screenplay Clarence Greene, Russell Rouse; Camera Ernest Laszlo; Editor Chester Schaeffer; Music Dimitri Tiomkin
  • Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1951. Running time: 84 MIN.
  • With: Richard Rober Gwendolyn Laster Maidie Normon George Hamilton Ernest Anderson Dick Simmons
  • Music By: