Drive a Crooked Road Film Details
Overview: An upright car mechanic falls in love with the girlfriend of a gangster. This forces him to participate in the criminal underworld.
Tagline: Why would a dame like her go for a guy like me?
Review: Drive a Crooked Road (1954) ** 1/2 (out of 4) Mickey Rooney plays Eddie Shannon, a race car driver without a bit of self respect due to a scar that covers part of his face. He spends most of his time alone or working as a mechanic until one day he meets the beautiful Barbara (Dianne Foster). The two strangely hit it off but it turns out she’s working for a small-time gangster (Kevin McCarthy) who needs to use Eddie for a bank heist. This semi-noir isn’t the greatest film ever made but there are enough interesting moments to make it worth sitting through if you’re a fan of the genre. It’s always funny seeing some of this non-MGM roles that Rooney was in at the middle point of his career because on one hand it just doesn’t seem right seeing him in a part like this but at the same time it gives the film a somewhat interesting twist simply because you are seeing him in this type of role. It’s strange but I think Rooney’s performance starts off a tad bit stiff but gets better as the movie goes along. The early scenes we see Eddie sitting alone, in deep thought and simply being too shy and embarrassed of himself to talk or act like a normal person. I thought Rooney struggled a little bit during these scenes but at the same time this could be one just simply in shock because this isn’t the Rooney we’re use to seeing. Once the story starts to pick up and he begins to come to life with the girl then I found Rooney to be much better suited. Foster really looks like a prettier version of a young Barbara Stanwyck. I thought she did a very good job in the film as she was perfectly believable as the love interest but she also handled the cold-blooded villain as well. McCarthy clearly steals the film with his slick, laid back performance. You can’t help but feel he’s a villain you love to hate because of his lack of emotion when it comes to fooling this weak guy by making the loser think he’s a winner. There are many memorable moments in the film including an early scene between Rooney and Foster on a beach where she tries to bring him out of his shell. The greatest sequence in the film is the actual heist, which is followed by a sequence where Rooney must drive at a fast speed on a dangerous road in order to get past a road block that police will put up once they learn of the robbery. This sequence here has some nice tension in it and the editing is very good. DRIVE A CROOKED ROAD is probably going to appeal to fans of Rooney and McCarthy more than your typical crime-picture fan. I think a stronger screenplay would have been beneficial especially early on when this hot woman falls for the Rooney character as it simply isn’t very believable.
Duration: 83 min
Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller
Also known as: Drive a Crooked Road,Le destin est au tournant,O Louco do Volante,Auf gefährlicher Straße,Speedy Shannon,Rumbo torcido,Il terrore corre sull’autostrada,De wending van ‘t noodlot,Little Giant,Os Valentões,Поездка по кривой дороге,La senda equivocada