TIME TABLE (1956) originally released by United Artists .79 minutes. Crime Drama. B&W.
$ 7.98 Alpha Video. Available from OLDIES.COM
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TIME TABLE begins on a train speeding through the night in Arizona. A physician (Wesley Addy, later the sheriff in HUSH HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE (1962)) is summoned from his compartment to check out a passenger who has taken ill. He goes and tells the waiting porter , conductor , and wife of the sick passenger that he suspects that the man has polio and is contagious .The doctor has the train car isolated and asks to be taken to the baggage car for his medical bag. Just as we think we are going to have a medical drama like PANIC IN THE STREETS (1950) TIME TABLE turns into a very fast paced heist thriller with a lot of unexpected twists and turns.
Directed by actor Mark Stevens (FROZEN ALIVE (1964)), who also stars as insurance investigator, Charles Gorman, keeps this entertaining Film Noir moving at a quick pace. The script by Aben Kandel (later to write scripts for Herman Cohen
horror films from I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF (1957) to CRAZE (1974)), from an original story by Robert Angus (producer of the first season of THE ADVENTURES OF OZZIE AND HARRIET!) has the well planned caper starts to fall apart almost as soon as it begins when unexpected variables begin to occur. Well photographed by cinematographer Charles Van Enger (who mostly worked on TV but did lens BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA (1952)), it is a shadowy world that befits the story and its characters.
You may recognize two brief but important character appearances in the film. The first is Jack Klugman (TV’s THE ODD COUPLE) in his second film appearance * as a stoolie getaway driver. The other is Alan Reed, who looks like he was the template for James Gandolfini. His voice will sound familiar to many, as he was the original Fred Flintstone!
I have been careful not to give away too much of the plot of this short but well-crafted little 79 minute b&w gem, so you can discover them for yourselves. This is a B film in the best possible sense, a super supporting feature done economically but quite effectively.
ALPHA VIDEO once again releases a film that other distributors overlook. The print is a bit muddy, but that is to be expected, and I am doubtful we would see a better quality print released to DVD.
–Kevin G Shinnick
*- Did you know Klugman’s first film role was in a Larry Buchanan quickie western in 1952 ?According to IMDBD ,he appeared in a $16,000 quickie called GRUBSTAKE for the director later made (in)famous for such films as MARS NEEDS WOMEN (1967) . Stanley Kubrick was almost the cinematographer, but Buchanan would not meet his salary requests. Anyone ever see GRUBSTAKE aka APACHE GOLD?