The Law of Contact

Highway Dragnet (January 20, 1954)

Highway Dragnet
 

Released on January 20, 1954: (running time 1 hour and 11 minutes) An accused killer goes on the run from the Las Vegas Police with two lady hostages.

Produced by William F. Broidy, Roger Corman, Jack Jungmeyer, A. Robert Nunes

Directed by Nathan Juran

The Actors: Richard Conte (Jim Henry), Joan Bennett (Mrs. Cummings), Wanda Hendrix (Susan Wills), Reed Hadley (Police Detective Lieutenant Joe White Eagle), Mary Beth Hughes (Terry Smith), Iris Adrian (Sally, cafe waitress), Harry Harvey (Mr. Carson, motel owner), Tom Hubbard (Police Detective Sergeant Ben Barnett), Frank Jenks (Marine at California inspection station), Murray Alper (ice cream truck driver), Zon Murray (police trooper in cafe), House Peters Jr. (Steve, California inspection station officer), Joseph Crehan (older border inspection officer), Charles Anthony Hughes (overweight border inspection officer), Bill Hale (Harry, State Police Trooper in cafe), Fred Gabourie (State Police Trooper Al), Johnny Duncan (Marine)

 

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The War Hero, The Photographer, The Bathing Beauty, The Strangler

His gravestone reads in part, “NICKY – THE MASTER OF GENTLE WORDS AND DEEDS. YOU SHARED SO MUCH, GAVE SO MUCH, RECEIVED SO LITTLE, UNTIL NOW WHEN ALL IS YOURS.” Richard Conte believed in reincarnation and looked forward to his future life. There is a pyramid in each of the four corners of his grave marker, and the dates read: 1910 – 1975 - ?

His birth name was Nicholas Peter Conte, and he first acted with the name Nicholas Conte. When a movie studio wanted to change his screen last name from his family name Conte to Conty, he managed to convince them to make it Richard Conte instead. It was important to him that his family and friends in New Jersey did not think that he forgot them when he went to Hollywood.

Frank Sinatra was one of his friends, and one of his later roles was in Ocean’s 11. In 2014 Nancy Sinatra remembered him this way: “His real name was Nicholas Richard Conte and my dad called him Nicky so we all did. He was one of the sweetest people who ever lived and I count him amongst my dearest friends, someone I trusted as a girl and admired as an adult. Always kind, always smart and adorable.”

Richard Conte is best remembered for his noir movie roles, often playing the bad guy, and sometimes the good guy, with equal skill. In this noir murder adventure, he has just been released from the Marines after serving valiantly in the Korean War. After futilely putting most of his change into Las Vegas slot machines, he wanders into the bar and sits next to a drunk and boisterous blonde. After buying her a sixty-five cent martini, he accidentally insults her beauty. This leads to that and she physically attacks the soldier, and of course, everyone in the bar watches.

When the blonde is found strangled to death the next morning the marine is charged with her murder and is arrested. Fortunately, he gets away so that he can try to prove his innocence. Unfortunately, he hitches a ride with a photographer, played by Joan Bennett, and the photographer’s model, played by Wanda Hendrix.  Instead of getting away to prove his innocence, he has put himself into a much more complicated and deadly dangerous situation. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Bill Hale, Zon Murray
Bill Hale, Zon Murray
Frank Jenks, House Peters Jr.
Frank Jenks, House Peters Jr.
Harry Harvey
Harry Harvey
Harry Harvey, Joan Bennett
Harry Harvey, Joan Bennett
Harry Harvey
Harry Harvey
Harry Harvey
Harry Harvey
Harry Harvey
Harry Harvey
House Peters Jr.
House Peters Jr.
House Peters Jr., Frank Jenks
House Peters Jr., Frank Jenks
House Peters Jr., Joseph Crehan
House Peters Jr., Joseph Crehan
Joan Bennett
Joan Bennett
Joan Bennett, Wanda Hendrix
Joan Bennett, Wanda Hendrix
Joan Bennett
Joan Bennett
Joseph Crehan
Joseph Crehan
Mary Beth Hughes
Mary Beth Hughes
Murray Alper
Murray Alper
Reed Hadley
Reed Hadley
Reed Hadley, Tom Hubbard
Reed Hadley, Tom Hubbard
Reed Hadley
Reed Hadley
Richard Conte
Richard Conte
Richard Conte, Joan Bennett, Wanda Hendrix
Richard Conte, Joan Bennett, Wanda Hendrix
Richard Conte, Joan Bennett
Richard Conte, Joan Bennett
Richard Conte, Mary Beth Hughes
Richard Conte, Mary Beth Hughes
Richard Conte
Richard Conte
Richard Conte
Richard Conte
Richard Conte, Mary Beth Hughes
Richard Conte, Mary Beth Hughes
Richard Conte
Richard Conte
Wanda Hendrix, Richard Conte
Wanda Hendrix, Richard Conte
Tom Hubbard
Tom Hubbard
Tom Hubbard, Richard Conte
Tom Hubbard, Richard Conte
Wanda Hendrix
Wanda Hendrix
Wanda Hendrix, Joan Bennett
Wanda Hendrix, Joan Bennett
Wanda Hendrix, Richard Conte
Wanda Hendrix, Richard Conte
Wanda Hendrix, Richard Conte
Wanda Hendrix, Richard Conte
Wanda Hendrix
Wanda Hendrix
Wanda Hendrix
Wanda Hendrix
Wanda Hendrix
Wanda Hendrix
Wanda Hendrix
Wanda Hendrix
Zon Murray
Zon Murray
Zon Murray, Richard Conte
Zon Murray, Richard Conte