A Bullet for Joey (1955)

Genres - Action, Drama, Spy Film, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Thriller, Political Thriller  |   Release Date - Apr 15, 1955 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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It's rather depressing that a film with Edward G. Robinson, Audrey Totter and George Raft could be as bad as A Bullet for Joey, but it's unfortunately true. Place the blame on the time period: the Red Scare of the 1950's inspired the studios to produce some execrable anti-Communist movies, and this is one of them. Certainly screenwriters A.I. Bezzerides and Daniel Mainwaring had proven before (and would prove again) that they were more than capable writers; yet on Bullet, they concoct a ridiculous plot, people it with one-dimensional caricatures, saddle it with unconvincing dialogue and ladle on a heaping helping of ham-fisted ideological messages that are laughable. Lewis Allen's lifeless direction doesn't help matters one whit, although cinematographer Harry Neumann does manage to get off a few inventive shots when given half a chance. Bullet's cast tries very hard, and certainly each of them finds some moments that the audience can savor, but they can't save the film. They're good, but the material sinks them.