Monday, August 31, 2015

Tonight's Movie: Highway 13 (1948)

HIGHWAY 13 is a zippy little 58-minute thriller about murder and conspiracy in the trucking business.

Hank Wilson (Robert Lowery) is a trucker engaged to truck stop waitress Doris (Pamela Blake of SKY LINER). Hank works for a trucking company run by Frank Denton (Michael Whalen), whose wife was recently one of a string of road fatalities plaguing the company.

An insurance investigator (Steve Pendleton) is murdered and Hank is initially the suspect, but another insurance man (Dan Seymour) doesn't believe Hank was responsible and puts him to work undercover. Little does Hank know that the road to one of the suspects will lead straight back to Doris's elderly, nasty uncle (Clem Bevans).

This film moves along briskly and has a number of good character actors, including Mary Gordon as Doris's aunt and the always-welcome Lyle Talbot as a detective. Maris Wrixon (what a name!) plays the trucking company's human resources woman who is also the femme fatale of the piece; she's seen at the right.

One of the things I enjoyed is that the stand-by-your-man Doris finds a way to jump into action to save Hank's life -- and her own -- in a hair-raising sequence. I also got a kick out of multiple references to driving to Bishop, a town I'll be passing through this week.

It's worth noting that the movie is non-graphic but pretty brutal in doing away with a number of characters, especially near the end.

HIGHWAY 13 was directed by William Berke and filmed by Carl Berger.

HIGHWAY 13 is a Lippert production available in VCI's Forgotten Noir and Crime Collection, Vol. 4. It's a good-looking print. This set is a great value for those who enjoy these types of films; I wish VCI would put out another collection!


Blogger dickson said...

I really like all the films on VCI Forgotten Noir & Crime Collection. I have
1,2,3,4. I too wise they would come out with more. I'm glad to see someone
besides myself likes this kind of film. When checking reviews on IMDB on this
kind of "B" films, they always seem to be negative remarks. I have a hugh
film collection and a lot are the little films, where you meet so many actors/actresses who you don't know or they have very small parts in "A" films.

Keep up the good work.


8:50 AM  
Blogger Jerry E said...

And so say all of us!!!!!

2:14 PM  

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