Highway Dragnet (1954)

Crime,Drama,Film-Noir,Romance
Wanda Hendrix,Joan Bennett,Iris Adrian,Richard Conte
Jim Henry, a Marine sergeant in the Korean War, has recently been discharged and is in Las Vegas to visit an old army buddy. In a bar, Jim carelessly insults Terry Flynn, a blowzy, blonde gold digger and former fashion model, and she picks a fight with him, but they end up embracing. The next morning, while hitching a ride, Jim is picked up by the Las Vegas police and taken to an apartment where Lt. Joe White Eagle shows him Flynn's dead body. As Jim was seen fighting with Flynn, White Eagle suspects that he may have strangled her. After Jim says that he was with his army buddy, Paul, who can verify his alibi, he realizes that the soldier was on a classified security mission and therefore was not registered at his hotel under his real name. Despite Jim's excellent Marine record, White Eagle feels that he has enough evidence against him to hold him. However, Jim resists arrest and seizes one of the police officer's revolver, holds the police officers at bay and escapes in one of their patrol cars, shooting out the tires on the other.. Driving down Highway 91, Jim turns off the road, abandons the car, changes his clothes and walks back to where he has spotted top magazine photographer Mrs. H. G. Cummings and her model Susan trying to start their disabled car. After Jim fixes the car, the ladies offer him a ride. However, before they can continue, Mrs. Cummings' small dog runs into the road because she has lost the leash and is killed by a passing car. When they reach the Apple Valley Inn where they have a photographic assignment, Mrs. Cummings and Susan invite Jim to spend some time with them. After the abandoned patrol car is found, White Eagle decides to pursue Jim into California and orders roadblocks set up. At the inn, when a newspaper with a report of the murder and Jim's photo is delivered to Susan and Mrs. Cummings' room, Susan wants to call the police, but Mrs. Cummings points out that the murdered woman was the tramp her husband Harold killed himself over and therefore they might suspect her of the murder. Later, after the inn's publicity is tipped by Mrs. Cummings that Jim is the wanted killer he alerts the police. Jim takes Mrs. Cummings and Susan hostage, steals a car and crashes through a roadblock. With White Eagle and other units in pursuit, Jim manages to lose them by leaving the highway and driving across the desert. However, the car becomes stuck in sand and when Jim attempts to free it, Mrs. Cummings grabs his gun and is about to shoot him when Susan wrestles the weapon away from her, as Susan now believes that Jim may be innocent. Later, Jim tells Susan that he is scheduled to meet Paul, who can confirm his alibi, the next morning at Jim's partially flooded house at the Salton Sea. When Jim, Mrs. Cummings and Susan reach the house, Jim gets out and tells them to leave, but Susan decides to stay with Jim as she has fallen in love with him. In the house, Jim finds a note from Paul stating that he had to leave on another assignment for the army, thereby depriving Jim of his alibi. Suddenly, White Eagle, who has tracked Jim there, appears, tells Jim that he is under arrest and orders him to put his gun down. Mrs. Cummings enters silently, picks up the gun and, as Susan is about to tell White Eagle about Flynn and Harold, shoots the lieutenant. She then tries to shoot Jim and Susan, but the gun malfunctions and she runs away and falls into what she believes is quicksand. She begs Jim to rescue her, but before doing so, he extracts a confession from her that she strangled Flynn with her dog's leash. Jim then tells her that she was in no danger as there is no quicksand on his property.The police have overheard her confession and a wounded White Eagle orders that all charges against Jim be dropped. Jim and Susan walk off together, arm in arm.
  • 20 Jan 1954 Released:
  • N/A DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • N/A Writer:
  • Nathan Juran Director:
  • N/A Website:

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