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RICHARD BASEHART AND MARILYN MAXWELL IN 'OUTSIDE THE WALL'

Title: OUTSIDE THE WALL Year: 1950 Rating: ***

Crane Wilber's OUTSIDE THE WALL is three movies in one, and the first two are the best: starting with Richard Basehart as Larry Nelson, who had been locked-up in prison from age 15 to 30 for having punched a guard, causeding him to fall to his death, told in expository as Basehart... with the right amount of prowess, naivety and vulnerability... is paroled OUTSIDE THE WALL, quickly learning about dangerous traffic and a crooked bar floozy... 

And soon he's into the second picture, which has the most potential, featuring bad blonde Marilyn Maxwell as blunt, selfish, shrewd and downright crooked hospital nurse who Basehart's Larry winds up working alongside... although she looks a decade too old, her character has sharp fatale potential, curbed by good girl Dorothy Hart (who just played the crooked dame in UNDERTOW)...

Richard Basehart and Dorothy Hart in OUTSIDE THE WALL

But the entertaining friction between the greedy nurse and polite ex-convict only last a few scenes... when escaped prisoner John Hoyt winds up in the hospital, Larry keeps quiet, and the noir dilemma kicks in since he still thinks like a criminal, which is just the beginning of the true morality test...

Yet the picture derails into a messy post-heist potboiler combined with a rushed wrong-man plot when Larry's mistaken for Hoyt's missing cohort — and a group of seedy criminals (led by Harry Morgan) turn this unique semi-expose on the temptations of rehabilitation into a dime novel programmer both predictable and cliche: basically, Richard Basehart and Marilyn Maxwell... the latter forgotten by the third act... deserved a much better platform.

Future Three Stooges member Joe Besser with Richard Basehart in OUTSIDE THE WALL
Richard Basehart in OUTSIDE THE WALL
Marilyn Maxwell in OUTSIDE THE WALL
Marilyn Maxwell and Richard Basehart in OUTSIDE THE WALL
Richard Basehart in OUTSIDE THE WALL
Richard Basehart in OUTSIDE THE WALL with Dorothy Hart
Marilyn Maxwell and Joseph Pevney in OUTSIDE THE WALL
Richard Basehart in OUTSIDE THE WALL
Richard Basehart in OUTSIDE THE WALL with John Hoyt
Signe Hasso and Harry Morgan in OUTSIDE THE WALL
Richard Basehart in OUTSIDE THE WALL with Tracey Roberts


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