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STEVE COCHRAN GANGSTER NOIR REVIEW OF 'HIGHWAY 301'

Title: HIGHWAY 301 Year: 1950 Rating: **1/2

Steve Cochran will be no stranger in the months to come. From playing heavies in popular Film Noir flicks like THE DAMNED DON'T CRY to heroes in b-pictures like our popular "thiral" review of QUANTRILL'S RAIDERS, and plenty of others spanning two and a half decades...

Let's begin with a quick summary of one of his more blunt, by-the-numbers Noir movies that features, within his shadowy gang of hat-donning hoods, the actor who'd play Joan Crawford's straitlaced husband in the aforementioned DAMNED, Richard Egan, his character introduced by name through a stern, steady narration following eerie, monotone real life politicians, seated behind their desks, lecturing the audience how Crime Doesn't Pay... 

Steve Cochran in HIGHWAY 301

The wonderful contradiction of the Noir genre often has a moral lesson upfront for a minute or two, followed by a 90-minute dreamlife of sometimes handsome/always cocky, gun blasting hoods... 

Stealing plenty and spending plenty more: on booze, cars, or gorgeous dames, although Steve Cochran's heavy, George, is so overpowering, unapologetic and extreme it'd be difficult if impossible to imagine oneself to be in his ultra cruel shoes...

Steve Cochran in HIGHWAY 301

In one scene sneaking from an elevator to blast his moody moll down a hotel stairwell, leaving the only vulnerable character in a young, kindhearted French girl hooked up with the nicest (and youngest) member of the outfit... 

Collectively a sneering mob who pull off a rushed heist and, basically, the rest of the picture they're chased by cops, thrusting HIGHWAY 301 into more of the action category than the usual thriller template... It's just too bad Cochran's villain is so downright evil and one-dimensional. Hell, even Big Ed from WHITE HEAT had... heart... kinda... 

Steve Cochran in HIGHWAY 301
Steve Cochran in HIGHWAY 301
Steve Cochran in HIGHWAY 301
Steve Cochran in HIGHWAY 301
Steve Cochran in HIGHWAY 301


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