Sunday, September 19, 2010

Four Boys and a Gun (1957)

James Franciscus appeared in his first movie, "Four Boys and a Gun", while he was still in college, the summer after his junior year.

The movie is a better-than-average juvenile delinquent drama of the sort popular at the time. The plot: a runner for a bookie gets into trouble when he spends some of a day's take on a girlfriend instead of paying the boss. To come up with the money, he concocts a plan to rob a boxing arena with his three hoodlum friends. But the plan goes awry and a policeman is killed during the robbery. The D.A. must now determine which of the four boys fired the fatal shot - three of the boys will get life sentences and only the cop-killer will be sent to the electric chair, if they rat out the killer. Through a series of flashbacks each of the four boys' characters are explored and their motives revealed. The boys must choose among themselves who will take the rap - the actual shooter, the one with a family, the one who brought the gun, or the one who with the worst prospects in life if he is paroled?