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Fred F. Sears
R. Wright Campbell,
After being discharged from the U.S. Army in Germany, Harry reluctantly follows his wife to England where he lands a job as a truck driver. It is not long before his boss, Joe Easy, tries to involve the ex G.I. in a smuggling operation. Harry first resists but Joe throws Lynn, his own mistress, into his arms and he soon forsakes his scruples. After Lynn has become his lover Harry leaves his wife. When he feels he has made enough money, he considers getting back to the States with Lynn. But just then an accident happens to Butch, his young son...Written by
Watch out I don't drop you right back among the pigs.
The Long Haul is directed by Ken Hughes and Hughes adapts the screenplay from the Mervyn Mills novel. It stars Victor Mature, Diana Dors, Patrick Allen, Gene Anderson and Peter Reynolds. Music is by Trevor Duncan and cinematography by Basil Emmott.
Harry Miller (Mature) is an American serviceman who after the war has relocated to Northern England to live with his British wife and their son. He hankers to get back to America but his wife is not keen, so he takes up a truck driving job and quickly learns that corruption and under the table deals are the order of the day. Refusing to bend to that way on account of his moral fibre, this puts him on a collision course with violent racketeer boss Joe Easy (Allen), more so when he steps in to help Easy's girlfriend, Lyn (Dors), during an altercation and Lyn becomes quite smitten with Harry.
Gritty and grimy Brit noir that pulses with violence, simmering sexuality and big roaring lorries! By the time of film's release, the plot device of a returning soldier finding things less than worth fighting for had been done to death, but in the case of Hughes' movie it has a relocation slant that gives it a bit of zest. This gives the pic a rock solid foundation from which to tell its tale, and in the main it delivers all the requisite requirements for the film noir buff.
Narratively it revels in film noir tropes, not content with the confused ex-soldier angle, it throws in a classic femme fatale (Dors sexually charged) and a trick up its sleeve that puts some extra oomph into the culmination of story. The look is a suitably shadowy world of wet winding roads and smoky road side diners, while the dockside scenes are so excellently filmed you can practically smell the damp and salt wafting across the working class backdrop.
Some supporting performances are, shall we say too keen, and some of the dialogue leaves a lot to be desired, but this is well worth a spin for anyone interested in British noir. Mature and Dors, both under rated actors in their day, are great value as characters desperately trying to find some solid meaning in life, while Allen has a great time playing the cigar chomping - square jawed - bastardo Joe Easy. Check it out, a better than average Brit noirer, pushing boulders and trying to move emotional mountains, indeed! 7/10
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