“Jeopardy” (1953)

Jeopardy boldly asks the gateway question “Is it okay for a woman to sleep with another man if her husband’s life depends on it?”, and just as forthrightly answers it: “Oh hell, yes—in fact, we kind of want to watch.” On an isolated beach in Baja, motormouth Barry Sullivan gets his leg caught under a jetty as the tide is coming in; Barbara Stanwyck, looking for a rope to pull him free, stumbles across escaped con Ralph Meeker; but the sociopath Meeker is impervious to her pleas for help, leaving her only one card to play. What will she do? “What would any woman do?” she asks in voiceover, her head cocked a little eagerly to one side. She even shakes his hand at the end. Economical (68 minutes), bracingly physical (a young John Sturges directed it), and containing morals which are pleasingly untethered from anything you learned in Sunday school. Recommended.

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