Inferno (1953)

Inferno (1953), directed by Roy Ward Baker.

When nasty millionaire Robert Ryan breaks his leg in the desert, wife Rhonda Fleming and her boyfriend see great opportunity in leaving him there. "We're not killing him," she says. "Just not saving him."

It takes him a while to realize they aren't coming back. The rest of the movie is his brutal survival trek, setting his leg and crawling out of the desert, hunting for food and water, the intense desire for revenge keeping him going.

We have great "your cheating heart" contrasts with the guilty lovers: plenty to eat and drink, lounging by the pool. But they begin to suspect he is still alive and have to go back into the desert to finish the job. That gate swings both ways, of course.

And our hero? His survival ordeal has changed him. Not that he is any nicer or more forgiving, but he does attain a certain degree of peace.

It's only 83 minutes long and is a straightforward survival and vengeance tale. The real Mojave locations help enormously; much better than a sound stage. Robert Ryan is my favorite actor of that era and I am slowly getting through his filmography as the titles become available.

Exciting Paul Sawtell score with discordant horns. He has 320 IMDB credits as Composer and 443 for Music Department.

Filmed in 3D. The Technicolor has faded with time.

Fox Cinema Archives DVD-R, available for rent from ClassicFlix.

[Later: Paramount had an all-region 3D Blu-ray import from the UK, and Twilight Time a limited-edition 3D Blu-ray in the US].

Note the last two thumbnails below: the characters are supposed to be facing each other, but have the same background.