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Loophole (Harold D. Schuster) 1954
What a wide-awake nightmare this movie — and one that feels very real and relatable, especially today as many of us struggle through this miserable economy. The underrated, versatile Barry Sullivan plays a nice bank clerk who is blamed for a theft, straight from his bank drawer, that he didn’t commit. Watching Sullivan anxiously figure out his losses at the end of the workday and wondering just what the hell he’s going to do about it is almost unbearably painful. He waits through the weekend and then reports the situation on Monday — which then makes him a prime suspect in the robbery. Enter the unstoppable terminator of second chances — a police and bank insurance bond investigator played by the great Charles McGraw and Sullivan’s life becomes a never-ending nightmare where, even after he’s fired from his job, and the police lose interest in the case, McGraw makes it a mission to destroy any chance for this guy to keep any kind of employment. Sullivan and his wife (played by Dorothy Malone) just get poorer and poorer as he can’t keep any damn job thanks to this psycho force of crooked bureaucratic hell. I don’t know if I’ve ever hated McGraw in a movie, but I hated him (as we are supposed to hate him) in this one. Kafka would have loved this movie.

Loophole (Harold D. Schuster) 1954

What a wide-awake nightmare this movie — and one that feels very real and relatable, especially today as many of us struggle through this miserable economy. The underrated, versatile Barry Sullivan plays a nice bank clerk who is blamed for a theft, straight from his bank drawer, that he didn’t commit. Watching Sullivan anxiously figure out his losses at the end of the workday and wondering just what the hell he’s going to do about it is almost unbearably painful. He waits through the weekend and then reports the situation on Monday — which then makes him a prime suspect in the robbery. Enter the unstoppable terminator of second chances — a police and bank insurance bond investigator played by the great Charles McGraw and Sullivan’s life becomes a never-ending nightmare where, even after he’s fired from his job, and the police lose interest in the case, McGraw makes it a mission to destroy any chance for this guy to keep any kind of employment. Sullivan and his wife (played by Dorothy Malone) just get poorer and poorer as he can’t keep any damn job thanks to this psycho force of crooked bureaucratic hell. I don’t know if I’ve ever hated McGraw in a movie, but I hated him (as we are supposed to hate him) in this one. Kafka would have loved this movie.

Filed under movies film noir