Tight Spot

Tight Spot

Tight Spot (1955) is an American film noir directed by Phil Karlson and written by William Bowers, based on the play Dead Pigeon, by Leonard Kantor. It stars Ginger Rogers, Edward G. Robinson and Brian Keith. The story was inspired by Senator Estes Kefauver's tactics in coercing Virginia Hill to testify in the Bugsy Siegel prosecution.


Sherry Conley (Ginger Rogers) is a model who is in prison for a crime she did not commit. She is offered a deal for her freedom by U.S. attorney Lloyd Hallett (Edward G. Robinson) if she will testify as a witness in the trial of mobster Benjamin Costain (Lorne Greene). Costain is able to coerce Vince Striker (Brian Keith), the detective who is guarding Sherry, to allow hired guns to invade the hotel room where Sherry is being hidden

Sherry is uncooperative, but she finally decides to testify when her escort, policewoman Willoughby (Katherine Anderson), is murdered by Costain's thugs – but Striker still intends to murder Sherry.


  • Ginger Rogers as Sherry Conley
  • Edward G. Robinson as Lloyd Hallett
  • Brian Keith as Vince Striker
  • Lucy Marlow as Prison Girl
  • Lorne Greene as Benjamin Costain
  • Katherine Anderson as Mrs. Willoughby
  • Allen Nourse as Marvin Rickles
  • Peter Leeds as Fred Packer
  • Doye O'Dell as Mississippi Mac
  • Eve McVeagh as Clara Moran
  • Helen Wallace as Warden
  • Frank Gerstle as Jim Hornsby
  • Gloria Ann Simpson as Miss Masters
  • Robert Shield as Carlyle
  • Norman Keats as Arny

Critical reception

When the film was released The New York Times gave it a positive review and wrote,
Tight Spot is a pretty good little melodrama, the kind you keep rooting for, as generally happened when Lenard Kantor's Dead Pigeon appeared on Broadway a while back...Along the way are some nice, realistic trimmings Mr. Karlson, or somebody, had the bright idea of underscoring the tension with sounds of a televised hillbilly program (glimpsed, too unfortunately). For our money, the best scene, whipped up by scenarist William Bowers, is the anything-but-tender reunion of Miss Rogers and her sister, Eve McVeagh — no competition to the two Anastasia stars down the street, but an ugly, blistering pip...Indeed, Miss Rogers' self-sufficiency throughout hardly suggests anybody's former scapegoat, let alone a potential gone goose. But she tackles her role with obvious, professional relish. Mr. Keith and Mr. Robinson are altogether excellent. Lorne Greene makes a first-rate crime kingpin and Katherine Anderson is a sound, appealing matron.


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