It's pretty nifty stuff, and the underrated Hunter gives one of his more intense performances. Still. There's something workmanlike, and something anachronistic (George Duning's brassy, TV-cop-drama-evoking score, most likely), and something...else that I can't put my finger on, that holds the picture back from classic status. Like so much else proffered by the Warner Archive, this is a marginal piece...and hell, what's wrong with that?
Back to Conrad. The fellow certainly had what you'd call a protean career. First there was that voice of his, exemplary for radio (where he got his start), as well as for narrating the immortal "Rocky And Bullwinkle Show." He was a solid actor as well. And his directing and producing projects, while not necessarily the stuff of immortality, were all of interest.
Did you know he was also a great friend of the novelist Anthony Burgess? The second volume of Burgess' "confessions," You've Had Your Time, is filled with the writer's reminiscences of collaborating and carousing with the man he calls Bill. For instance:
"In...[a] lavish [clipjoint] Bill paid a hundred pounds to a large-breasted strumpet he favoured: this was the fee for getting me laid as he had been laid. I declined the gift, rightly: Bill was later to complain that she gave him a dose."
Their great unrealized project was a musical biopic of Shakespeare, to be titled Will! (obviously they were under the influence of Lionel Bart). Burgess also recalls that it was Conrad's facetious proposal to produce an all-black version of Oedipus under the title Mother-Fucker that inspired, at least in part, one of Burgess' most vexatious novels, M/F. Falstaffian and slightly racist. Well, what are you gonna do.
Anyway, I do not bear an uncanny resemblance to the guy. I bear, I am told, an uncanny resemblance to another guy.