Just viewed this 1956 movie filmed partly in Tucson and Arizona, which is a griping drama with old time favorite film stars such as Robert Wagner and Joanne Woodward. The movie’s theme focuses on Greed, one of the 7 deadly sins.
Short synopsis of plot: Poor and ambitious college student Bud Corliss plots to kill his rich (& pregnant) girlfriend Dorothy, as he is afraid she will be disinherited once her father finds out she is pregnant, despite her promise to marry him. He accomplishes this heinous deed off the top of the now-Chase Bank building downtown on Stone Avenue (SE corner of Congress St., formerly the Valley National Bank). It was probably the tallest building in downtown Tucson back in 1955. And he makes it look like a suicide. And true to the title, Bud kisses her before she dies.
Then the plot thickens as Ellen, sister of Dorothy begins to investigate her alleged suicide with the assistance of her sister’s former college professor, nephew of the Tucson Chief of Police.
Another murder ensues but I won’t disclose that part of the exciting plot. And there’s a twist at the ending filmed at a nearby mine in Arizona. Someone has suggested to me that it may have been the Morenci Mine. Update: I just found out it was the Duval mine near Sahuarita.
Note: There’s a scene of star Wagner sitting calmly on a bench reading a newspaper (hopefully the former Tucson Citizen) in a park west of the Pima County Consolidated Justice Court on Church Avenue. And long time Tucsonans may be able to recognize other scenes of Tucson (such as the Pago Pago tiki bar which used to be on Oracle Road, and a horse back riding scene out west of the city). Anybody recognize other Tucson locales?
The 1991 remake was filmed on the East Coast, starring Matt Dillon, Sean Young and Max Von Sydow. The newer version is much more grisly than the first, with Corliss becoming a serial killer, all in the name of overwhelming Greed. The alleged suicide of Dorothy occurs early in the sequel, with Sean Young playing both sisters (now twins). Both father & sister Ellen become aware of Dorothy’s pregnancy in the remake, which has other plot changes. The 1991 version which takes place in NYC and Philadelphia, is a lot darker & more menacing as a suspense thriller. It also has a twist at the end, with an explanation of why Corliss did what he did to get ahead in life.
The 1956 original movie is available at the Pima County Public Library, and I rented the newer version from Casa Video on Speedway.