Sunday, November 19, 2017

Time Table

Unfortunately we had a power outage this morning so my plan to finish watching McCabe and Mrs. Miller was scuppered. Thankfully I had watched Time Table last night off a DVD I bought, so I can do a full-length post on that one instead.

The movie starts off very interestingly. On an overnight train in the Southwest, Dr. Sloane (Wesley Addy) is alerted by the conductor of a sick passenger in one of the sleeping compartments. The good doctor investigates, and determines that the patient is sick with... polio! (The movie was released in early 1956; apparently not everybody had received the polio vaccine yet.) The patient has to get to a hospital as quickly as possible, and Phoenix is too far away, so they're going to have to stop at the next place with a hospital. Oh, and Sloane needs access to his medicine in the baggage car.

Sloane goes to the baggage car, and when he gets his bag... he pulls out a gun! He gives the three attendants in the baggage car a sedative, and when they're knocked out, he robs the safe of the $500,000 that it contains. And of course he has an out since the train is stopping to take the "patient" to the hospital.

Meanwhile, back in Los Angeles, insurance investigator Charlie Norman (Mark Stevens) is told that he's going to have to delay his vacation to Mexico with his wife in order to investigate the robbery. There's a bit of luck in that one of the people in the getaway ambulance was shot, which leads to more evidence coming out: they probably got away by helicopter which brings in more suspects, and so it goes. But the biggest shock is Charlie's relationship to the case.

Time Table is a competent, if low-budget crime movie from the mid-1950s. It's definitely not the first thing I'd think of if I were trying to get people interested in crime movies of the era, but for people who have already seen the well-known movies from that era and enjoy the genre, I'd have no qualms recommending this one. The movie is pedestrian in that it's not particularly memorable and there's nothing outstanding about it. But it's more than entertaining enough.

The DVD, courtesy of Alpha Video, has a relatively muddled print, which I'm sure has to do a lot with the fact that they deal in lesser-known public domain movies. The print has an Alpha Video bug over the opening and closing credits, annoyingly in the top right instead of the bottom right. The DVD cover also prominently mentions Jack Klugman, although he only has one scene.

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