It’s time we took another look at the low-budget Western Naked Gun (1956), directed by Edward (Eddie) Dew and an uncredited Paul Landres. Timothy’s hot-headed henchman Hartman has just had a knock-down-drag-out fight and is being escorted off the premises by an unknown extra.
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).
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.
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.
Let’s close out the week with another publicity still. This one is from the low-budget Western Naked Gun (1956), directed by Eddie Dew and an uncredited Paul Landres. Timothy is getting his clock cleaned by a determinedly two-fisted Tom Brown.
Many thanks to Toby from 50 Westerns From The 50s for this one! No wonder I missed it; it’s listed as Naked Guns, plural. Pretty bad when the distributor (Associated Film Releasing Corp.) can’t even get the name of their own film right. As I believe I’ve mentioned before, Brown began his career as a child model for advertisements, including Buster Brown shoes. Any relation? You make the call.
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).
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.”
Today we take another look at director Paul Landres‘ Chain of Evidence (1957) and Timothy’s 2×4-wielding low-life Carl Fowler. He’s been pulled in by the cops, but naturally he denies everything.
EDITOR’S NOTE 06/02/14: The original poor quality screen cap that accompanied this post has now been replaced with one from the new commercial DVD release! You can now purchase the two-disc Bill Elliott Detective Mysteries set that includes Chain of Evidence. Thank you, Warner Archive Collection!
Our pic of the day to start off the work week is from the enjoyable potboiler Chain of Evidence (1957), directed by Paul Landres, who had directed Tim the previous year in Naked Gun (1956), receiving no on-screen credit. Here Tim plays Carl Fowler, a violent low-life who likes to settle arguments with his fists and a 2×4.
My MSTie pals will recognize the female lead; she’s Claudia Barrett from Robot Monster (1953). “We want peace, Ro-Man. But peace with honor.”