Custom Search


A Strange Adventure (1956)

Director: William Witney
Starring: Ben Cooper, Joan Evans, Marla English, Nick Adams, Jan Merlin
Running time: 70 minutes
Released by Republic Pictures

Despite the title, nothing particularly strange happens in this tale of a nice young hot rod enthusiast named Harold (Ben Cooper) who inadvertently becomes the getaway driver for a heist perpetrated by a pretty young nightclub singer (Joan Evans) and her gangster friends. After the gang takes Harold to a remote weather station to hideout from the fuzz, he and a pretty hostage team up to plot their escape, so they can attempt to clear Harold's good name.

The cast does the best they can with the material, which has the feel of something one of Republic's in-house writers (in this case, Houston Branch, who wrote over fifty screenplays for various studios) fired off in an afternoon. It's a B-movie all the way, with just enough hot rod action to market A Strange Adventure as a slight juvenile delinquent drama. Also noteworthy is the film's bad girl played by Joan Evans, who bears a striking resemblance to a young Elizabeth Taylor. I can imagine that particluar trait of hers having gained her a good deal of work back in the day. Other than that, the film is pretty bland, with too little action and too much talking.

There's also nothing here that hints that director William Witney, a serial/B-movie vet, would go on to direct something as outrageous as Darktown Strutters some twenty years later.