Rough Shoot 1953

(US title: Shoot First)

 

Director: Robert Parrish

 

Writers: Geoffrey Household (from his novel)Eric Ambler

Rôle: Hiart

Release Date: 30 March 1953

Synopsis: U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Robert Taine and his wife Cecily live in a village in England. While hunting on some land he has recently purchased, he shoots a load of buckshot at a man he thinks is a poacher but, upon examination, he discovers the man is dead and believes, at first, he has killed him. With the police and the Secret Service chasing him, he trails a suspect to London and this leads him to an espionage gang.

Rough Shoot (Shoot First!) 1953 poster

Reviews: From a user review on IMDb by Bunuel1976: "Abetting McCrea in his struggle are understanding wife Evelyn Keyes (she had already portrayed her definitive noir role in 1951 courtesy of Joseph Losey's THE PROWLER), Polish military 'mental case' Herbert Lom (unusually a good guy despite his obvious ambivalence) and sympathetic British Intelligence man Roland Culver. Their antagonists, then, are first-rate marksman Marius Goring (from the afore-mentioned CIRCLE OF DANGER but in a less showy role), sinister chauffeur Karel Stepanek and mysterious Austrian female Patricia Laffan (equally enigmatic off-screen, since the promise she showed in the definitive 1951 version of QUO VADIS was never delivered upon!); curiously enough, her alcoholic and uncommitted (to the cause) husband here – played by Frank Lawton (from 1935's David COPPERFIELD) – basically disappears halfway through the proceedings! The exciting action takes us from McCrea's shooting grounds (doubling as a night-time airfield for the villains' purposes) through an impersonation game to a perilous train journey to a notable climax at London's world-renowned "Madame Tussaud's" wax museum. Here, Goring startlingly blows himself up to safeguard the all-important documents that a typically meek defecting scientist had brought over with him from the other side."

Wardrobe Trivia: Marius is wearing white/cream knitted gloves in some scenes (see production still in the picture gallery below) which are a favourite wardrobe item of his. He first wore them in The Man Who Watched Trains Go By and continued to wear the same ones frequently in films and television shows over the decades.

Availability: DVD (Raymond Stross Productions) & on YouTube.

Rough Shoot review in The Times 23 February 1953
Rough Shoot review in The Owensboro Messenger (Owensboro, Kentucky) 27 December 1953