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Highway Dragnet (1954)

Richard Conte , Joan Bennett , Nathan Juran  |  DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Price: $124.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Conte, Joan Bennett, Wanda Hendrix, Reed Hardley, Mary Beth Hughes
  • Directors: Nathan Juran
  • Writers: U.S. Anderson, Roger Corman, Herb Meadow, Jerome Odlum
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003JTJVWW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,238 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Highway Dragnet is a 1954 crime drama film directed by Nathan Juran, based on story by U.S. Anderson and Roger Corman. The film stars Richard Conte, Joan Bennett and Wanda Hendrix. It tells the story of a former Marine of Korean War, who hitches a ride with female fashion photographer and her young assistant to escape from the police in a murder charge.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
(3)
3.3 out of 5 stars
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 1/2 Stars - Leaving Las Vegas September 9, 2012
Format:DVD
Disclaimer: I watched this film as a streaming rental, and cannot comment on the quality of the individual disc. My review has to do with the entertainment value of the film only.

Richard Conte stars as a former marine accused of murder, who then escapes from the police and takes Joan Bennett and Wanda Hendrix hostage as he tries to make a getaway to prove his innocence. The cops, led by Reed Hadley (radio's original Red Ryder), aren't giving up though, and will go all the way to the shores of the Salton Sea to get their man. But do Joan and Wanda know more about the murder even than Conte?

Strange to see Richard Conte in any other role than as a mobster, though I think he probably handles this material as well as anyone could have. It's a pretty sordid story, really, even if it has some positives. Unfortunately, Mary Beth Hughes isn't one of them. I've been working my way through her filmography, and I picked this up simply because it was immediately available from a streaming service - but she only appears for about five minutes at the beginning of the film. Turns out she's the murder victim, a just over-the-hill model cum barfly who's seen with Conte not long before her murder. Although still an attractive woman, the 1954 version of Ms. Hughes has lost much of the perky freshness from 1948's Inner Sanctum.

Wanda Hendrix, as the young hostage of Conte's, possesses much of that charm instead, although the construct of the film has her and Conte ridiculously falling in love after a few minutes. Other highlights of the film are scenes of the Vegas strip circa 1953, and a look at the LVPD that resembles 1984 more than 1954. Fascinating cultural differences, I think.

Anyway - stream it for free and you won't feel cheated. 2 1/2 stars, rounded up for Wanda Hendrix in a bathing suit.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie March 1, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Saw this movie on Prime and decided to give it a try. Glad I did. The plot is somewhat predictable, but the characters interact well and the first few scenes of Old Vegas are great. Joan Bennett (Father of the Bride) gives an outstanding performance as the uptight fashion photographer.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty bad March 4, 2013
By Firefly
Format:Amazon Instant Video
I streamed this for free because it was written by a very young Roger Corman. All I can say is, Roger improved with age! This is a badly put together story that never captured my interest. I didn't know what the accused hoped to "prove" by kidnapping and running; he seemed to have no destination or plan and no concept that he was merely adding more locks to his jail cell door. The love that supposedly developed was never explored and seemed nothing but a plot contrivance. The most interesting parts were old Las Vegas, the desert, and the Salton Sea. I knew nothing about the Salton Sea and looked it up. According to Wikipedia, it flooded in 1905. This left me even more confused because apparently Conte's character grew up in a house that was flooded while he was fighting in WW2.
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