Take One False Step


Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Tony Curtis Photo
Tony Curtis as Hot Rod Driver
Shelley Winters Photo
Shelley Winters as Catherine Sykes
William Powell Photo
William Powell as Andrew Gentling
Paul Brinegar Photo
Paul Brinegar as Reporter
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
868.61 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 34 min
P/S ...
1.57 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 34 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Henchman_Number15 / 10


In order to finance his new college, Professor Andrew Gentling (William Powell) and a pair of colleagues travel to Los Angeles to secure funding from curmudgeonly tycoon (Paul Harvey). Things go awry after Powell runs into his now married, former girlfriend (Shelly Winters) at his hotel bar. Powell, now happily married himself, reluctantly accepts an offer to go with Winters to a small get-together that evening to meet another old friend (Marsha Hunt). After dropping Winters off in front of her house later that night, Powell learns from a newspaper article the next morning that Winters has been reported missing and that foul play is suspected. Rather than reporting what he knows about the incident to the police, Powell, fearing losing financing for his new university from stuff-shirt benefactor Harvey, (who as a plot convenience hates any hint of scandal),decides to play detective and solve the disappearance himself.

'False Step' is part Hitchcock suspense thriller, part old school detective, a smattering of Powell's witty 'Thin Man' and topped off with a few dashes of 1930's screwball comedy. The casting and characters are also an unusual lot from Shelly Winters as the dapper Powell's floozy ex-girlfriend to James Gleason and Sheldon Leonard as a couple of wise cracking Runyonesque type cops. The results, like the styles, are mixed. The movie never really gets into a flow. Like a screwdriver in the bicycle spokes, what could have worked as a suspense mystery is thrown off the tracks by invasive injections of unneeded comedic relief. The script itself, in addition to lacking a cohesive direction, is just generally confusing as to the suspects' relationships and motivations. As such the urbane Powell is largely wasted as he steps through the disjointed scenes in a workman-like manner.

'Take One False Step' does have it's moments mainly due to Powell and cast mates who manage to pull it across the finish line. All-in-all it's a competent but forgettable film.

Reviewed by bkoganbing6 / 10

The contrast of the leads

After many years of exclusivity at MGM William Powell was starting to do outside projects like this one, Take One False Step. He's teamed with a most improbable partner, maybe the most improbable he had since Bette Davis, this being Shelley Winters.

I think that's at first glance. I'm not sure today's audiences might have appreciated this fact, but Powell and Winters are introduced to us people who may have had a wartime fling. In those days of separation and Powell is mentioned as being a scientist and in the army. That could have spelled isolation and you took your needs where you found them. That would be true for women as well. So this unlikely pair of lovers might have been an item circa 1941 to 1945.

But this is 1949 and Powell is in Los Angeles from New York with a pair of fellow academicians, Art Baker and Felix Bressart, who are pitching a Philistine like millionaire played by Paul Harvey for a big check to endow a new university they want to found. In the middle of this campaign, Powell hears from Winters. When Powell meets Winters we can see that they really are from two different worlds, but a post World War II audience would have appreciated it.

Shelley has got herself a nice little drinking habit and Powell after a bit of coaxing goes on a midnight drive with her where she wanders off in a state of inebriation. The next day Powell finds out through her friend that she's missing and presumed dead and the LAPD is looking for a distinguished male friend she was with that night.

Powell instead of turning himself in, starts his own investigation and gets himself in deeper. Turns out Shelley's husband Jess Barker is a low level syndicate runner whose responsible for a large amount of betting money that's also missing. Just what has Bill stepped into?

It would have been smarter all around had Powell just gone to the cops in the first place, but detectives James Gleason and Sheldon Leonard who you might think are Keystone like Kops and do have some funny lines really do have a handle on the thing all the time as you'll see if you watch the film.

Powell and Winters are completely lacking in chemistry, but that's part of the key to both their characters, two people who except for being thrown together during the war would never in a million years have hooked up.

Even after the plot is resolved, there's still a surprise waiting for Bill Powell. Take One False Step will never be among the top 10 of the films for either of the stars, still it has quite a bit going for it just in the contrast of the leads.

Reviewed by blanche-26 / 10

William Powell is in a heap of trouble

Professor Andrew Gentling (William Powell) comes to Los Angeles to work on the formation of a new college. In the bar of his hotel, he runs into his old girlfriend Catherine (Shelley Winters) who throws herself at him. They apparently had a wartime fling.

However, both are married now. Catherine is miserable. Andrew is very happy and, in fact, has invited his wife to LA to join him there.

Catherine calls Andrew and tells her that their friend Martha (Marsha Hunt) is having a party and would love to see him. When he gets there, he finds a drunk Catherine and a very sober Martha.

Catherine finagles a drive with him, during which he stops short and she hits her head. Andrew gives her his scarf. He takes her home, but she refuses to leave the car. He leaves instead. When he returns, he sees Catherine on her way home.

The next day while at a meeting, Andrew sees the lurid headline that Catherine is missing. The police have her bloody scarf. He meets Martha, who tells him that Catherine had a diary, and that, along with the scarf, means they are going to have to act quickly to keep him out of trouble. He wants to go to the police, but she won't hear of it.

One problem - when Martha sends Andrew to Catherine's house to look for her diary, she somehow neglects to mention a really vicious dog. You'd think she would have told him. It turns out to be a huge problem. The dog was rabid and bit him.

The scene with Dr. Markham where he goes into the symptoms of rabies with Andrew, who thinks he has it, is hilarious.

Powell brings his usual elegance to the role. At 58. he was perhaps a little old for all the physical activity - being chased by a dog, car crashes, and fights. Winters is slim and lovely, this being her starlet days, but she has a spark that hints she will be up for better, more character-type roles.

As of this writing, one actor in this 70-year-old film is still alive - Marsha Hunt. She's very good, as she always is.

Other than everyone acting as if Los Angeles and San Francisco were a couple of miles apart, the film was okay. Hardly the horror people described, but not great.

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