Monday, April 6, 2015

WALK EAST ON BEACON! (1952)

That exclamation point in the title is the most exciting thing about WALK EAST ON BEACON!  The film centers on a Communist terrorist sleeper cell operating in America and the FBI's efforts to unmask them and bring them to justice.  The story is told in a very dry procedural way.  There were a few moments during the middle (while the agents were trailing the taxi driver, the professor being blackmailed) that were entertaining, but for the most part the entire thing was a bore.  I think a lot of this comes for the lack of a strong leading role character, the extreme black/white (good vs. evil) portrayal of the FBI agents versus the KGB agents and then the plodding direction by Alfred L. Werker.

WEOB! is not a bad film just a low-key propaganda piece made at the early stages of the Cold War.  If you are looking for an interesting historical piece then this is a good choice (the early 1950's street scenes were great) , but if you're looking for an exciting crime procedural then you'd be better off watching the excellent T-MEN instead.
Since WEOB! was filmed in Boston is the early 1950's I can only guess that the "Timilty for Mayor" sign in the background was for Joseph F. Timilty who was the Boston Police Commissioner from 1936 to 1943 until was "indicted on charges of conspiracy to permit the operation of gambling houses and the registration of bets".  He ended up losing the 1951 race for mayor.