Split Second (1953) – 5/10 hostage atomic thriller movie review

Cast / crew
Stephen McNally: Sam Hurley
Alexis Smith: Kay Garven
Jan Sterling: Dorothy “Dottie” Vale
Keith Andes: Larry Fleming
Arthur Hunnicutt: Asa Tremaine
Screenplay Writer: William Bowers
Screenplay and Story Writer: Irving Wallace
Story Writer: Chester Erskine
Producer: Edmund Grainger
Director: Dick Powell

Split Second (1953)

An escaped prisoner and his injured friend take a bunch of people hostage and wait for a doctor inside the blast radius of an atomic test scheduled for the following morning.


Ordinary escaped-prisoner hostage drama in a non-ordinary setting. Stephen McNally impresses as a brutal thug and it’s interesting to see Alexis Smith not hold back as the selfish adulteress who will do anything to save herself. The baddies get a great demise (blasted by a atomic blast wave, spun through the air like a spin dryer then incinerated, just to make sure) but the plot contrivance to make it happen is a bit of a groaner (according to the reporter, setting off atomic explosions an hour earlier than announced is a thing they do; apparently it’s fine as long as they give you fifteen minutes warning).

This movie contains strong violence


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