Gus Slavin

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.

FILM

  • LOOPHOLE...Buy this DVD
    (1954, Allied Artists)
    80 minutes, black & white
    Based on a story by Dwight V. Babcock and George Bricker
    Screenplay by Warren Douglas
    Directed by Harold D. Schuster
    Cinematography by William Sickner
    Art Direction by Dave Milton
    Original music by Paul Dunlap
    Associate producer: Warren Douglas
    Producer: Lindsley Parsons
    Starring Barry Sullivan as Mike Donovan
    with Charles McGraw as GUS SLAVIN
    Also starring Dorothy Malone, Don Haggerty, Don Beddoe, Joanne Jordan, Richard Reeves

RELATED LINKS

Bad, Bad Eyes

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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