Joe Peters

Created by Richard Landau and Geoffrey Homes (pseud. of Daniel Mainwaring)

In Roadblock (1951), a nifty little noir full of robbery, murder, sexual obsession and a bunch of other neat stuff, JOE PETERS (Charles McGraw), a Los Angeles-based insurance investigaor who sounds like he gargles with old car parts, becomes involved with Diane Marley, a "hot little number" who he figures is just another gold-digger. But he doesn't care.

So he sets up a scam involving stolen furs and a bunch of used money on its way to being destroyed. It could be the heist of the century, but it's all to no avail. Things go wrong, and people get killed, and in true noir fashion, he discovers that she would be content with him just the way he is.

But of course it's too late for her, and it's too late for him. Especially when Joe's partner Harry Miller turns up, urging him to turn himself in.

This stylish little B-flick is like a role call from the glory days of noir. Nic Musuraca's cinematography and Albert S. D'Agostino's art direction graced classics such as Out of the Past, Cat People and The Spiral Staircase; crime writer Geoffrey Homes (aka Daniel Mainwaring) penned the original story, and Steve Fisher (I Wake Up Screaming) brought it to the screen, and editor Robert Golden went on to cut The Night of the Hunter. And hey, Milburn Stone (Doc in TV's Gunsmoke) even has a small role here as a detective.

FILM

  • ROADBLOCK...Buy this DVD
    (1951, RKO)
    73 minutes, black & white
    Based on a story by Richard Landau and Geoffrey Home
    Screenplay by Steve Fisher and George Bricker
    Directed by Harold Daniels
    Cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca
    Art Direction by Albert S. D'Agostino, Walter E. Keller
    Film Editing by Robert Golden
    Original music by Paul Sawtell
    Produced by Lewis J. Rachmil
    Starring Charles McGraw as JOE PETERS
    Joseph Krehan as Harry Miller
    and Joan Dixon as Diane
    Also starring Lowell Gilmore, Louis Jean Heydt, Milburn Stone, Peter Brocco, Barry Brooks, John Butler, Ben Cameron, Jean Dean, Richard Irving, Harold Landon, Martha Mears, Phyllis Planchard, Steve Roberts, Dewey Robinson

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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