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Filmbrain, you have a keen nose for these underappreciated movies that have been sitting under own noses. Thanks for turning us on to them. I had never even heard of No Down Payment.


Excellent review. I discovered this movie myself not too long ago. It's based on a strong novel by John McPartland, a writer of some renown in the pulp community for his Gold Medal paperbacks.


this is just the type of movie i would watch obsessively as a kid. i love smoldering sherry north(JPEG Image, 377x480 pixels). she was lou grant's g/f after all.


thank you very much for writing this excellent review! (and for pointing out tony randall's performance, by the way.) this is also something I can forward to friends when I recommend the film.

Will Pfeifer

This sounds fascinating. I'll have to keep an eye our for it on Fox Movie Channel. Thanks!

Dennis Cozzalio

Filmbrain, Will, All: The next showing of No Down Payment on Fox Movie Channel is coming up January 30, and my DVD recorder is at the ready. Thanks for the excellent piece, and the gorgeous stills too. I'm a big fan of Sheree North, but I'd not heard of this movie either until just after her recent death. I look forward to reading your piece again after the movie...

Chris Adams

Wow, you just got linked by James Wolcott! Nice going, and thanks for the tip on this film!

Laughing Historian

As one who actually lived in one of those panoptical suburban communities in the 1950s(Overland Park Kansas, where you could get Top Value Stamps At Your Kroger Stores!)I can testify that Ritt's effort was right on the money.

The Cameron Mitchell character is especially memorable and indicative of how memories of the Big One brooded over these picket-fence paradises. Post-1945 suburbia was supposed to be the Pot Of Gold At The End Of The Rainbow. It was supposed to be What They Were Fighting For.

And yet the blunt fact was that WW2 was really the greatest thing that ever happened or ever would happen to a lot of those suburban hubbies. Somehow that backyard barbeque lacked the excitement of Tarawa or the Ardennes, even if the great majority of Americans in uniform never got near either one.


got here via wolcott. and boy am I happy. I have been wondering about this film for years. I caught it late at night long ago but couldnt remember enough to track it down. thanks so much. now, if only I had fox movie channel....


Good review. I just saw this movie in HD on one of the premiums (I don't consider FMC premium anymore). One thing: it wasn't clear to me that the guy died at the end. He didn't have to; his wife was leaving him anyway, and we see her leaving at the very end. Not that it really matters.

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