Edge of Eternity (1959)

 Run Time: 80 min. | colour
Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Cornel Wilde, Victoria Shaw, Mickey Shaughnessy,
Jack Elam
 Genres: Drama | Crime | Mystery
Storyline
Suspenseful “cops and robbers” stuff with Wilde as a deputy sheriff hot on the trail of a murderer who operates around the Grand Canyon resort area. The chase ends in cable cars high above the canyon floor.
Box Office
Budget: $700,000 (estimated)

4 Comments

  1. IMDBReviewer

    August 1, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Unusual outdoor suspenser from Columbia studios, guided by sure-hand of cult director Don Siegel. It's a super-slick production that makes great scenic use of the magnificent Grand Canyon. Nothing profound or head-scratching here, just A-grade movie entertainment.

    A string of mysterious murders in a remote Arizona ghost town has deputy Cornel Wilde flummoxed and sheriff Edgar Buchanan about to lose his job. Add to that the sassy and beauteous Victoria Shaw in red-haired Technicolor, gabby bartender Mickey Shaugnessy, and professional hick Tom Fadden, and you've got a cast lively enough to compete with the compelling scenery. Even the stolid Wilde loosens up more than usual, though his countrified accent sort of comes and goes.

    Great staging. I really liked the scene at the abandoned mine, where Shaw explains what happened to the fabled gold-mining industry after the war. This may be the only screenplay to take up that topic, which seems odd given the metal's rich role in the settling of the West. So if you're curious about why the industry suddenly disappeared from the American landscape, this is the movie to catch.

    The episode in the "dancing bucket" is a real hair-raiser. If I recall a book correctly, Shaw was terrified of doing those high-wire scenes and Siegel had to go to some lengths to get them shot. Given the heights involved, that's not surprising. Anyway, there's action, mystery and plenty to look at including Miss Shaw who unfortunately died much too young. So if you've got a spare 90 minutes, scope out the kind of movie Hollywood was making back when Cinemascope was trying to lure audiences away from the little screen.

  2. IMDBReviewer

    August 1, 2017 at 11:25 am

    I taped Edge of Eternity when Channel 4 screened it some time ago and found it very enjoyable. Some reviews state this as a Western, but it is more of a mystery-thriller than a Western.

    A Sheriff in Arizona investigates three murders around the Grand Canyon and is help by a woman and not surprisingly they fall in love with each other. The killer then takes the woman hostage and he is caught in the dramatic final showdown in a minor’s bucket, high over the Grand Canyon.

    Edge of Eternity has some magnificent scenery. especially the Grand Canyon scenes.

    The cast is lead by Cornel Wilde as the Sheriff, Victoria Shaw as his love interest and Micky Shaughnessy. All play good parts.

    This movie is a must see, just for the scenery. Excellent.

    Rating: 3 and a half stars out of 5.

  3. Anonymous

    August 1, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Edge of Eternity is directed by Don Siegel and written by Richard Collins. It stars Cornel Wilde, Victoria Shaw, Mickey Shaughnessy, Edgar Buchanan and Rian Garrick. A CinemaScope production with music by Daniele Amfitheatrof and cinematography by Burnett Guffey.

    Contemporary Western that finds Wilde as the local deputy sheriff trying to solve a murder case in the Ghost Town of Kendon.

    It's not got a strong plot and the performances of the cast are hardly out the top draw, but it's a solid murder mystery set to the magnificent backdrop of The Grand Canyon. Siegel keeps things pacey as Guffey brings the scorching vistas to life, and it all builds to an exciting finale, where some rear projection work not withstanding, it's breath holding stuff. 7/10

  4. Anonymous

    August 1, 2017 at 11:25 am

    One thing you have to say for Don Siegel — he managed to work in some scenic locations, in this case in and around the Grand Canyon. But this is a formula film, not an identifiably Siegel product. His favorite theme seemed to revolve around a person caught between the law and the underworld, siding with neither, on his own trip so to speak. And he was not a camera artist. There are no fancy shots in his movies, no epic explosions, no artsy compositions. It’s all craftsmanship — but it’s really GOOD craftsmanship at its best. It’s difficult after the fact to pin down exactly what his contribution was to his best films but he seemed to add something of his own to the script and to pull out unusual performances from otherwise ordinary actors.

    Take "Line Up", made about the same time as "Edge of Eternity." It’s a relatively plain movie about dope smugglers but Siegel managed to put something extra in it. There’s Robert Keith, nobody’s idea of a finely tuned performer, doing something very odd with his intellectual reserve. And Siegel even manages to turn Vaughan Taylor (!) into a figure of menace even though he has no more than one or two lines of dialogue.

    Nothing like that happens here. Cornell Wilde is the upright sheriff. Edgar Buchanan his folksy boss. Mickey Shaughnessy is the heavy posing as the comic relief. There is the drunken wastrel of a son. There is the pure (if rather aggressive) girl after Wilde. Jack Elam as a regular hard hat. The plot is simplicity itself. A small group of nogoodniks are trying to smuggle gold out of an abandoned mind and commit a couple of murders along the way. The plot is foiled by Wild, ending in a fist fight aboard one of those dangling trams over the Grand Canyon, done better than the one in "Second Chance" but not as lengthy or exciting as the one in "Where Eagles Dare." No unusual guns are in sight. No bitterness or betrayal. The actors hit their marks, say their lines, and depart. It’s as if Siegel were shadow boxing, warming up a bit.

    If there is anything outstanding about the film it’s the gorgeous photography, crisp, colorful, sunny, and the scenery itself. The cars are equally magnificent, especially a long yellow convertible that glistens under the day-for-night sun. Yet it’s engaging as these things go. It’s formula movie making but it’s not bad, anymore than Pythagoras’ theorem is bad. It’s just — well — just THERE. On the plus side, I never knew that bat guano was worth so much that even a considerable quantity would justify building a tram across the Grand Canyon. What would we do without bats?

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