Sunday Matinee: Drive A Crooked Road

Richard Quine was an actor who starred in variety of movies from the 1930s and 40s. He moved into directing movies in the 1950s. His first films were musicals and he collaborated with screenwriter Blake Edwards with a couple of them.

In 1954 the two shifted gears and made a gritty film noir film Drive A Crooked Road.

Mickey Rooney stars as Eddie Shannon, a mechanic who aspires to be a race car driver. He wants to race in Europe but instead just races locally. He meets Barbara Mathews (Dianne Foster) who seems to take a liking to Eddie. She introduces Eddie to Steve Norris (Kevin McCarthy) who wants Eddie to drive for them. For a job.

Eddie finds out the job is driving the getaway car for a bank robbery that Steve is planning. What Eddie also doesn’t know is that Barbara is Steve’s girl and she’s helping Steve use Eddie as a driver. Eddie doesn’t want to help with a robbery but he’s in love with Barbara so he agrees to the job.

This might actually be one of Mickey Rooney’s better roles. Here he plays a shy quiet guy who falls in with the wrong crowd. The film is well made and pretty entertaining. Quine would continue directing up until the 1980s and Edwards would eventually become a director himself.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka spends most of his life watching movies and reading comic books, using his vast knowledge of genre culture for evil instead of good.