year: 1946
cast: Lawrence Tierney
director: Gordon Douglas
rating: *

"Reservoir Dogs" introduced me to Lawrence Tierney. Like Tim Roth's character says about him (pp): "He looks like The Thing". So true. The old Tierney does in fact look as if he were made of giant stones. But when you go back fifty years, you find another kind of superhero altogether: a thin, good looking one that's still tough as nails. In the forties, Tierney starred in many classic low-budget noirs: including "Dillinger", "Devil Thumbs a Ride", "Kill or Be Killed", "The Bodyguard", and "Born to Kill", and unlike those mentioned, this one stinks. First off, the title is misleading. This has almost nothing to do with "San Quentin". It's not a prison flick. Wouldn't it be great if it centered on Tierney playing a tough convict (which he was in real life)? That's what most would assume with the title and the star. But Larry plays an ex-con who's a really nice guy who's tracking down a couple escaped cons - not nice guys - who are giving other ex-cons a bad name. This film noir entry (or in this case, film snore) is a complete dud. Lock this turkey up and throw away the key.

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