|Stuart Galbraith IV at DVD Talk says of the ubiquitous Sid Melton: "He grows on you." (So does kudzu.)|
The Sprocket Vault or to rent from the new ClassicFlix Underground), Western Pacific Agent is a dandy little B-noir (yes, I think this one qualifies) from director Sam Newfield (and his producer, brother Sigmund Neufeld) that’s a hell of an entertaining movie to watch. No less than an authority than the late John Cocchi—author of one of my favorite film reference books, Second Feature—spoke most highly of the film: “One of the brothers’ very best is this crime drama in which the heroes become secondary to the villain.” I think he pretty much nails it; the top cop is played by Kent Taylor who, despite his lengthy movie resume, I can never think beyond TV’s Boston Blackie. Taylor’s Randall is competent but uninspiring—he seems annoyed by Melton’s comic relief (I’d gamble he’s not the only one) and his “romance” with Martha Stuart (Sheila Ryan)—yes, that is the character’s name—is dull stuff.
DVD Talk notes that Woody Harrelson’s character in Natural Born Killers  is named “Mickey Knox” and wonders if Oliver Stone ever saw Agent—I’ll bet this was Quentin Tarantino’s contribution) and the cruel twist of Fred Myton’s screenplay (from a story by Milton Raison) kind of makes you feel a little sorry for the little jerk. Carnovsky proves to be the consummate pro in that he demonstrates despite having to be in this B-picture he’s going to give 100%.