Private Hell 36 | Chicago Reader

Private Hell 36

Don Siegel's efficient direction isn't suited to this murky 1954 psychological study fraught with the artsy pretensions of its stars and producers, Ida Lupino and Howard Duff. The title refers to a house trailer, where a crooked cop (Steve Cochran) is holed up with a dame, his ex-partner in hot pursuit. The pressure-cooker plot gains much from the quiet tawdriness of the setting, but Siegel's heart clearly isn't in it—he seems every bit as trapped as the characters, aching to burst out with some action. It comes, but too late.

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