Pic of the Day: “Chain of Evidence” revisited

Ending the week is another look at Chain of Evidence (1957), the amnesia-plot-device police drama directed by Paul Landres, who co-directed Timothy the year before, along with Eddie Dew, in Naked Gun (1956) but went uncredited. Bad guy Carl Fowler has been called in for questioning on an assault charge, and he is none too happy about it (even though he did it).

Chain of Evidence

Landres was another hard-working journeyman director, helming many low-budget feature films and television series (seemingly specializing in Westerns) from the late 1940s into the 1970s. He also received no on-screen credit for his directing duties, along with the prolific Robert L. Lippert, on the MST3K favorite Last of the Wild Horses (1948), filmed a few hours’ drive from me in the Rogue River Valley in southern Oregon.

Quote of the Week

CHAIN OF EVIDENCE (1956). Want to know if you should watch this one? Two words: Timothy Carey. Really, what more inducement do you need? Mind you, Carey has a minor role here, playing a thug who beats affable parolee Jimmy Lydon (erstwhile star of Paramount’s Henry Aldrich films) so badly that Lydon develops amnesia and goes off to work as an auto mechanic in Saugus. Yeah, Saugus … These detective movies have an almost fetishistic devotion to geography, as if the writers were working with open copies of The Thomas Guide. Whereas a lot of Hollywood crime movies of this vintage were shot in LA but rarely got site specific, these films name-drop streets, intersections, and such outlying municipalities as Saugus (long since incorporated into Santa Clarita), Ventura, and Imperial Valley, which adds to the verisimilitude. CHAIN OF EVIDENCE (these titles are fairly interchangeable and have little relevance to the actual plots) is an odd mash-up of Arthur Lubin’s IMPACT (1949) and Tay Garnett’s THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1946), as the amnesiac is hired as a handyman by a rich guy (THE WILD ONE‘s Hugh Sanders) and winds up the fall guy in a murder plot hatched by the millionaire’s avaricious wife (Tina Carver, later the heroine of FROM HELL IT CAME) and her lover (Ross Elliott). Directed by Paul Landres (who went from this to the Allied Artists shockers THE VAMPIRE and THE RETURN OF DRACULA), CHAIN OF EVIDENCE is just peppy enough and well cast (Dabbs Greer turns up as a sympathetic doctor) to keep the middling plot moving to another sitcom-like finish. Poor John Close is knocked down the cast roster even further this time out, playing a state trooper with about twenty seconds of screen time. Timothy Carey gets three scenes and stamps through each one of them like his feet are on fire.

Richard Harland Smith, “The Bill: Warner Archives’ Bill Elliott Detective Mysteries reviewed!”; Movie Morlocks (June 13, 2014)

Chain of Evidence

Pic of the Day: “Revolt in the Big House” promotional still

To celebrate the long-awaited official commercial DVD release of Revolt in the Big House (1958), our pic today is another promotional still from that very film. Lou Gannon (Gene Evans) and Bugsy Kyle confer during said revolt.

Revolt in the Big House

The Warner Archive Collection is a great source for several of Timothy’s films on DVD, including Waterhole #3 (1967), Chain of Evidence (1957), The Outfit (1973), Rumble on the Docks (1956), Convicts 4 (1962), and now this one. Way to go, WAC!

Pic of the Day: “Chain of Evidence” revisited

Huzzah! I got my copy of the Bill Elliott Detective Mysteries set the other day, and made some new screen caps from Chain of Evidence (1957). Here once again, but in sharp focus this time, is ill-tempered sleazeball Carl Fowler. He’s trying to pull a fast one on Sgt. Mike Duncan (Don Haggerty) and Lt. Andy Doyle (Elliott). He may be selling it but they ain’t buying it.

Chain of Evidence

Oh man – much better! Good quality prints are worth their weight in gold. Thank you, Warner Archive Collection!

Pic of the Day: “Chain of Evidence” revisited

You see this absolutely dreadful screen cap from a very poor quality “collector to collector” DVD of Chain of Evidence (1957)?

Chain of Evidence

Well, I’m happy to report that this film has finally attained that loftiest of goals – an official, proper commercial DVD release! You can now purchase the Bill Elliott Detective Mysteries collection, featuring Chain and four other films starring former cowboy star “Wild” Bill Elliot in his new role as LA County Sheriff’s detective Andy Doyle. I’ll be buying it myself as soon as possible, and replacing all of these substandard screen caps from Chain with shiny new ones. Good news!

Pic of the Day: “Chain of Evidence” revisited

Today we take another look at Chain of Evidence (1957), the low-budget crime drama directed by Paul Landres. Foul-tempered Carl Fowler (see what I did there?) is being grilled by Lt. Andy Doyle (“Wild” Bill Elliott), Sgt. Mike Duncan (Don Haggerty) and the gal who started the whole mess, Harriet Owens (Claudia Barrett).

Chain of Evidence

Haggerty later appeared with Timothy in The Gunfight at Dodge City (1959). My MST3K and bad-movie-loving pals will recognize Barrett as the intrepid Alice from the infamous Robot Monster (1953). “We want peace, Ro-Man. But peace with honor.”

Pic of the Day: “Chain of Evidence” revisited

Today’s pic is another from Chain of Evidence (1957), one of the low-budget crime dramas starring former Western star “Wild Bill” Elliott as Det. Lt. Andy Doyle. Timothy’s bad-tempered Carl Fowler is confronting the man who gave him that scar, Steve Nordstrom (Jimmy Lydon). Tim must have filmed this around the same time as Francis in the Haunted House (1956), as he’s sporting basically the same flat-top haircut in both.

Chain of Evidence

To completely change the subject, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Tim’s son Romeo Carey and his wife on the recent birth of their third child, daughter Prima! Timothy has a new grandchild. That warms my fuzzy little heart.