The Price of Fear


Crime / Drama / Film-Noir / Romance / Thriller

IMDb Rating 6.4 10 288


Uploaded By: FREEMAN



Bing Russell as Maxie
Stafford Repp as Johnny McNab
Warren Stevens as Frankie Edare
Bess Flowers as Restaurant Diner

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend 7 / 10

Jessica Warren I Love You.

The Price of Fear is directed by Abner Biberman and adapted to screenplay by Robert Tallman from a story by Dick Irving Hyland. It stars Merle Oberon, Lex barker, Charles Drake and Warren Stevens. Music is by Heinz Roemheld and cinematography by Irving Glassberg.

Little seen or just forgotten these days, The Price of Fear is actually a rather tight and entertaining piece of film noir film making. Rising above some production limitations, pic is strong on characterisations and it looks just splendid. Story essentially finds Barker as an innocent man out to prove he didn't kill two people in two separate incidents!, while Oberon slips into femme fatale clothes as a love interest who's trying to avoid being found out for one of the killings Barker is under scrutiny for.

Narrative is deliciously twisty in how characters react and perform during the play. Into the mix is an intrepid detective, smooth talking villain, a blackmailing wife, a witness under duress and even a train sick canine! Old noir faithfuls coincidence and fate play their big hands, as does some narration drive. The look is minus chiaroscuro but the nighttime scenes are impressive enough, shiny streets and bulbous lights excellently photographed by Glassberg, while Biberman plays with frame tilts and interesting framing of the lady characters.

There's been some complaints about cast performances, but all are fine here. OK, so it lacks in viper femininity and laconic masculine as per noir classics previously, but nothing here hurts the piece. Solid as a rock is this, it even has the courage of its convictions to provide a genuine surprise ending. Where the main players catch a train to noirville, the termination point worth waiting for. 7/10

Reviewed by beyondtheforest 9 / 10

Fairly solid, well-polished thriller and star vehicle

Merle Oberon stars as a beautiful, glamorous business woman who is motivated by fear to do some despicable things. Guilty of a hit-and-run car accident, she must frame the man she loves in order to get away with murder! Along the way, she becomes involved with gangsters and detectives, and becomes ever more deeply mired in a chain of incriminating events. This is the type of role we are used to seeing Barbara Stanwyck fill, and Oberon does a beautiful job, but plays it her own way -- not as a tough dame, but as gracefully refined and secretly cunning. Sadly, this would be one of Oberon's last starring films. Clearly, Hollywood stopped offering her work too soon, but those were the days when glamorous female stars were phased out after 40.

This film is now available on DVD as part of the TCM Vault Collection's "Women in Danger: 1950s Thrillers" Collection (all Universal films). The quality is very good and this is a set worth adding to your collection.

Reviewed by django-19 7 / 10

Film wanders between soap opera and mystery;Barker is good

Like a lot of Universal-International's 1950s output, THE PRICE OF FEAR is a studio-bound soap opera that borders on kitsch, but within that soap opera, star Lex Barker and an exciting plot in the Hitchcock vein struggle to make the film something better. Barker plays the co-owner of a racetrack where the mob is trying to muscle in. One night, he happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people and his life begins unravelling and he goes on the run. Unfortunately, Merle Oberon enters the picture. I don't know if Ms. Oberon had something else on her mind while making this picture, but she seems to be posing for still photographs throughout the film. Oh, she's gorgeous! glamorous! stunning! But her posing and gown-modeling belongs in a 1920s Gloria Swanson vehincle--or maybe a PARODY of a 1920s Swanson vehicle! It's hard to believe that a savvy character, such as the racetrack owner played by Barker, would fall in love with such a cipher as Oberon's character. If you can forget the soap-opera elements of the plot, there's a good mystery here...and the climax and ending are genuinely surprising. However, only devoted Barker fans should try to find this film.

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