Friday, February 14, 2014

ROAD HOUSE (1948)

Richard Widmark is the owner of a popular road house that features a bar, a bunch of bowling lanes, a hang out area and a live piano singer.  After recruiting a sultry singer (Ida Lupino) from out of town, he starts to fall for her.  Unfortunately she falls for the road house's manager (Cornel Wilde).  Things get a little heated and next thing you know Widmark has framed Wilde for stealing from the payroll and then in a completely ludicrous turn of events Wilde has his 2 - 10 years prison sentence suspended under the condition that he's put on probation in the care of Widmark for 2 years!!!  What kind of wacky shit is that?!  Not only did he get framed, but now his punishment is to be the guy who framed him's slave for two years?!!  What a convenient turn of events for the writer!  As you can guess Wilde doesn't take too well to being Widmark's slave.  Lupino isn't too happy about it either, so things get a little shooty.

From a filmmaking standpoint ROAD HOUSE is fine.  It looks good, the sets look alive and the acting is way better than that weak script deserves.  It's nice to see Lupino in a strong role and Widmark is always great when he's sleazy, but couldn't maybe he have blackmailed Wilde and Lupino instead of having to stretch the limits of believability by Wilde be his court appointed slave?

Interesting film with good acting, but I wish the story had made more sense.  Worth a watch for classic movie fans.