“Don’t worry: Tyler and his partner will get a fair trial whether they deserve it or not.”
A man (Frank Lovejoy) struggling to provide for his pregnant wife (Kathleen Ryan) and son (Donald Smelick) agrees to work with a charismatic criminal (Lloyd Bridges) who eventually involves him in the murder of a kidnapped hostage. When Bridges hooks up with his girlfriend (Adele Jergens) and Lovejoy is paired with her lonely friend (Katherine Locke), Lovejoy gradually becomes unhinged from guilt; meanwhile, a journalist (Richard Carlson) writes a story about the men’s crime spree, not realizing he is unintentionally inciting a mob.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Downward Spiral
- Frank Lovejoy Films
- Lloyd Bridges Films
- Thieves and Criminals
Peary lists four films by blacklisted director Cy Enfield in his GFTFF: Sands of the Kalahari (1965), Zulu (1964), Mysterious Island (1961), and this crime drama, based on the same real-life 1933 incident that inspired Fritz Lang’s Fury (1936). Try and Get Me! (renamed after it flopped under its original title of The Sound of Fury) was Endfield’s final American film before fleeing to Britain after HUAC destroyed his Hollywood career, and it’s easy to see parallels here of a man mercilessly assaulted by mob “justice”. Indeed, it’s easy to empathize with Lovejoy’s luckless protagonist, whose sweet Irish wife (Ryan) remains loyal in the midst of poverty, and who is essentially bullied into abetting Bridges when no other opportunities for work emerge. With that said, the film isn’t without notable flaws: Locke’s Hazel is annoyingly pathetic, and the inclusion of an Italian mathematician-sociologist (Renzo Cesana) serving as Carlson’s guilty conscience is a baffling misfire. But the film is creatively directed overall, and the final scenes of mobs stampeding the jail where Bridges and Lovejoy are housed are chilling; this unique low-budget flick is worth a look.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Frank Lovejoy as Howard Tyler
- Kathleen Ryan as Judy Tyler
- Guy Roe’s cinematography
- Powerfully filmed mob scenes
Yes, for its historical relevance as a unique film by a blacklisted director. Listed as a Sleeper and a Personal Recommendation in the back of Peary’s book.