The Tall Target

( 1 )

Overview

The Tall Target is based on a true story: the attempted assassination of President-elect Abraham Lincoln, even before he was able to assume his duties in Washington. Dick Powell stars as New York detective John Kennedy, who learns of the assassination plot early on. When his superiors refuse to believe his wild tale, Kennedy quits the force and boards the Presidential train, hoping to prevent the killing on his own. The problem: who can he trust on board, and who can't be trusted? Ginny Beaufort Paula Raymond, ...
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Overview

The Tall Target is based on a true story: the attempted assassination of President-elect Abraham Lincoln, even before he was able to assume his duties in Washington. Dick Powell stars as New York detective John Kennedy, who learns of the assassination plot early on. When his superiors refuse to believe his wild tale, Kennedy quits the force and boards the Presidential train, hoping to prevent the killing on his own. The problem: who can he trust on board, and who can't be trusted? Ginny Beaufort Paula Raymond, the sister of the would-be assassin, might be able to prevent the tragedy -- if she isn't in on the conspiracy, that is. The supporting cast includes Adolphe Menjou, Marshall Thompson, Will Geer, and, as a slave, a young Ruby Dee. The film's nail-biting climax is brilliantly handled by Anthony Mann, whose directorial expertise was becoming sharper with each successive film in the early 1950s.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
A surprisingly neglected film, The Tall Target is not a perfect film, but it's an exceptionally interesting one. Part of its interest lies in the fact that it's, to a degree, a period film noir - and one with an historical basis, to boot. It doesn't quite meet all of the noir requirements, especially in terms of level of nihilism and/or fatalism, but there's enough there to give a special feel to Target. And the historical aspect of it is quite fascinating, adding an extra layer of interest. Target has a few clumsy moments in its screenplay, but Anthony Mann's taut, precise direction is so good that one lets them slide by without comment. Indeed, Mann really seems to revel in this assignment, especially once the set-up is out of the way and he can concentrate on the main action. He's aided by a first rate performance from Dick Powell, a great turn from Paula Raymond, and very solid contributions from Ruby Dee, Florence Bates and Adolphe Menjou. Target is a treat for thriller fans looking for something off the beaten path, with a climax that is especially gripping.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/1/2009
  • UPC: 883316204795
  • Original Release: 1951
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: B&W / Full Frame
  • Time: 1:18:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 25,134

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dick Powell John Kennedy
Paula Raymond Ginny Beaufort
Adolphe Menjou Col. Caleb Jeffers
Marshall Thompson Lance Beaufort
Ruby Dee Rachel
Richard Rober Lt. Coulter
Florence Bates Mrs. Charlotte Alsop
Katherine Warren Mrs. Gibbons
Leif Erickson Stranger
Peter Brocco Fernandina
Barbara Billingsley Young Mother
Will Wright Thomas I. Ogden
Regis Toomey Tim Rielly
Jeff Richards Policeman
Tom Powers Simon G. Stroud
Leslie Kimmell Abraham Lincoln
James Harrison Allan Pinkerton
Dan Foster Dapper Man
Will Geer Homer Crowley
Victor Kilian John K. Gannon
Paul Harvey
Technical Credits
Anthony Mann Director
Art Cohn Screenwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Richard Goldstone Producer
Ralph S. Hurst Set Decoration/Design
Eddie Imazu Art Director
Newell P. Kimlin Editor
Daniel Mainwaring Screenwriter
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
William J. Tuttle Makeup
Paul Vogel Cinematographer
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
George Worthing Yates Screenwriter
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2011

    Film Noir... 1861

    I can't speak to the finer points of historical accuracy, but the process of transporting President-elect Lincoln to Washington was indeed a chess game, foiling no fewer than three assassination plots. Fascinating film from start to finish. And, in a refreshing departure from Hollywood revisionism, there is no nostalgia for the Confederacy here. This story is unambiguously clear about who was right, and who was wrong.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews