Dan Duryea, Jayne Mansfield and Martha Vickers manage to overcome handicaps posed by David Goodis’ scripting and Paul Wendkos’ direction to rate an okay for performance. The same can’t be said for other casters, most of whom are permitted to overact to the point of oldtime scenery-chewing, especially radio’s Peter Capell in his role as a member of Duryea’s burglar gang.
Novel opening is a newsreel-type prolog, in which Duryea spots a necklace he wants. Plot then moves into the story, goes through the heist of the jewels from the mansion of a Philadelphia spiritualist, followed by the gang’s holing-up in a battered old house while the police look for clues and set law-enforcement machinery into work.
Basic story idea, taken from Goodis’ novel of the same title, is okay, but suspense and action are by-passed and sloughed while the assorted characters go into long soliloquizing about how they got into their various predicaments.
Don Malkames’ lensing pays attention to highspots of the Philadelphia-Atlantic City locales while helping story mood.