Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Count the Hours (1953)

Director: Don Seigel
Starring: Teresa Wright, Macdonald Carey, Dolores Moran, Adele Mara, Edgar Barrier, John Craven, Jack Elam, Ralph Sanford

After the bodies of farmer Fred Morgan and his housekeeper are discovered, police believe farmhand George (Craven) is responsible. With the pressure mounting, George confesses to the crime to spare his pregnant wife (Wright) anymore grief. When lawyer Doug Madison (Carey) is appointed to the case, he believes George is innocent of the crime and sets out to prove it, in spite of the objections of his fiance (Moran).

Average but stylish mystery from director Seigel (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Dirty Harry) keeps the drama moving along without a breather. The bristling score by Louis Forbers (Up in Arms, Brewster's Millions) is a little overkill at times and the script is a little too witty for its own good -losing focus on several occasions - but because it moves at such a cracking pace it's not that hard to keep on track.

The professionalism of Wright and Carey, who featured as Dr. Tom Horton for 30 years on the successful soap series Days of our Lives, also helps elevate this from your run-of-the-mill thriller; Wright made the film during her fallout from the studio system in Hollywood which she turned her back on. It's nothing to get excited about unless you're a fan of the director or two leads.


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