Split Second (1953)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Actor Dick Powell made an impressive film debut with the taut atomic-age suspenser Split Second. Convicts Stephen McNally, Paul Kelly and Frank DeKova escape to a ghost town in the Nevada desert. Only it isn't exactly a ghost town, but a "dummy village" constructed for the purpose of A-bomb testing. The criminals hold several hostages, including reporter Keith Andes, nightclub singer Jan Sterling, selfish socialite Alexis Smith, her doctor-husband Richard Egan and her newest boyfriend Robert Paige. Andes suspects that the deserted town is at Ground Zero of the latest bomb test, but he can't convince the convicts until it's almost too late. The best and most horrifying sequence occurs near the end, when the criminals, accompanied by the duplicitous Ms. Smith, discover that they're driving towards the A-bomb target instead of away from it. Novelist Irving Wallace collaborated on the script of Split Second with Chester Erskine and William Bowers.
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
RKO Pictures


Alexis Smith
as Kay Garven
Jan Sterling
as Dottie
Robert Paige
as Arthur Ashton
Paul Kelly
as Bart Moore
Richard Egan
as Dr. Garven
Stephen McNally
as Sam Hurley
Keith Andes
as Larry Fleming
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Critic Reviews for Split Second

All Critics (1)

A tense thriller.

Full Review… | October 31, 2004
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Split Second

Three convicts escape from prison and hide out in an apparent ghost town in the Nevada desert. Along the way they kidnap five hostages and learn that they are holed up in a village that will be ground zero used for nuclear bomb testing. The plot has two hooks: will any of the hostages be killed and will any of them survive the imminent bomb blast. This storyline drives the last 3/4 of the movie and is takes place in an abandoned bar. It ends up predictably. Despite this, the cast provided good performances especially at the end when the convicts realize they are headed in the direction of the bomb blast.

John Tandlich
John Tandlich

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