Created by Richard Landau and Geoffrey Homes (pseud. of Daniel Mainwaring)
In Loophole (1954), Charles McGraw plays yet another gravel voiced, morally compomised gumshoe (see Roadblock).
This time out, he's GUS SLAVIN, an insurance dick named who's putting the screws on war hero turned nice guy bank teller Mike Donovan (Barry Sullivan, who plays the classic noir bonehead/sap to perfection). Gus is convinced had something to do with a fifty grand shortfall at the Hollywood bank. So does everyone else.
Donovan loses his job and his home in the burbs, but fortunately his long-suffering (and equally squeaky clean) wife Ruth (Dorothy Malone) stands by her man. Doesn't matter though -- Gus, coming on like a two-bit Javert, is determined to take Mike down.
All the way down.
Even after it looks like Donovan may be innocent after all.
With his gruff, "up yours" surliness, McGraw's an ominous, dark menace. And just to make things a little more noir, Mary Beth Hughes is on hand as sizzling blonde bad girl to keep things simmering, the one who's really pulling the strings.
We're talking low budget B&W here, of course, and the ending is muddled, but the on location SoCal shoot (with a surprising number of daytime shots for a noir) gives the flick a ground level rawness that really cooks.
Bad, Bad Eyes
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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