Split Second

Split Second

Dick Powell (1953)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Not the Rutger Hauer horror show, but a cracking thriller from former crooner Dick Powell, here making his directorial debut and managing to crank up a fair amount of suspense. Stephen McNally stars as the slimy escaped convict who ends up in a Nevada ghost town with a clutch of hostages to keep the law at bay. The catch is that the town is actually part of a nuclear test site. This is clever stuff and is particularly well cast, with fine work from Alexis Smith and Jan Sterling, and reliable veterans such as Paul Kelly and Arthur Hunnicutt turning in their usual well-honed character studies. Also, catch up-and-coming Fox star Richard Egan in a minor role. A good script (from William Bowers and Irving Wallace) gives Powell a solid foundation, and he builds on it with great skill.


A deserted town seems to be the perfect place for a desperate escaped convict to hide with his motley group of hostages. However, what initially seems like a superb refuge soon proves otherwise as the group discovers the abandoned settlement is actually the site of an impending nuclear test. Thriller, starring Stephen McNally, Alexis Smith, Jan Sterling and Keith Andes.

Cast & Crew

Sam Hurley Stephen McNally
Kay Garven Alexis Smith
Dottie Jan Sterling
Larry Fleming Keith Andes
Asa Arthur Hunnicutt
Bart Moore Paul Kelly
Arthur Ashton Robert Paige
Dr Garven Richard Egan
Director Dick Powell
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: R.K.O. Radio Pictures Ltd