Highway 301 (1950)

82-83 mins | Drama | 1950

Director:

Andrew L. Stone

Writer:

Andrew L. Stone

Producer:

Bryan Foy

Cinematographer:

Carl Guthrie

Editor:

Owen Marks

Production Designer:

Leo Kuter

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

The film's working titles were The Tri-State Gang , Road Block , The One Million Dollar Bank Robbery , The Two Million Dollar Bank Robbery, and The Big Stickup . Andrew Stone's onscreen credit reads "Written and directed by." This film marked Gaby Andre's American film debut. The film is introduced by the governors of Maryland, William P. Lane; Virginia, John S. Battle; and North Carolina, W. Carr Scott, who attest to the factual basis of the film and emphasize that crime does not pay. The film uses a semi-documentary style. No credits appear until the end of the film and, as the Var review notes, "Casting uses faces that are not too well established for most of the characters, sharpening documentary effect." Some scenes were shot on location at Union Station in Los ... More Less

The film's working titles were The Tri-State Gang , Road Block , The One Million Dollar Bank Robbery , The Two Million Dollar Bank Robbery, and The Big Stickup . Andrew Stone's onscreen credit reads "Written and directed by." This film marked Gaby Andre's American film debut. The film is introduced by the governors of Maryland, William P. Lane; Virginia, John S. Battle; and North Carolina, W. Carr Scott, who attest to the factual basis of the film and emphasize that crime does not pay. The film uses a semi-documentary style. No credits appear until the end of the film and, as the Var review notes, "Casting uses faces that are not too well established for most of the characters, sharpening documentary effect." Some scenes were shot on location at Union Station in Los Angeles. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
2 Dec 1950.
---
Daily Variety
25 Nov 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
1 Dec 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 50
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Feb 50
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Nov 50
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
2 Dec 50
p. 598.
New York Times
9 Dec 50
p. 13.
Variety
29 Nov 50
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
MUSIC
SOUND
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Tri-State Gang
The One Million Dollar Bank Robbery
The Big Stickup
The Two Million Dollar Robbery
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 8 December 1950
Production Date:
9 February--16 March 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
7 December 1950
Copyright Number:
LP589
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
82-83
Length(in feet):
7,453
Country:
United States
PCA No:
14785
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the members of a gang known to the police as the Tri-State Gang because they have robbed banks in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, are spotted switching cars during a getaway. The farmer who saw them is able to identify the make of the second car and the first few letters of the license plate. The police have been unable to identify any of the gang members, who are George Legenza, William B. Phillips, Robert Mais, Herbie Brooks and Noyes. All have long police records, but received only light sentences. Now, the police hope the license plate will eventually lead them to the criminals, and a special group, headed by an investigator named Truscott, is put together to pursue them. That evening, the robbers celebrate with their wives and girl friends. Madeline Walton, Legenza's girl, is tired of life with a criminal, but when she begs Legenza to get out of the business, he brutally silences her. Phillips is newly married to Lee Fontaine, a French-Canadian woman who knows nothing of his real profession. The disgruntled Madeline drops broad hints to the truth, further angering Legenza. Realizing that she is in danger, Madeline tries to run away, but Legenza follows her and kills her. Lee blames herself for Madeline's death and begs Phillips to leave the gang. He promises that after they pull one more big job, he will return to Canada with her. Legenza, who has been tipped off to a shipment of two million dollars at the Richmond mint, kills one of the guards during the robbery, and the police set up ... +


In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the members of a gang known to the police as the Tri-State Gang because they have robbed banks in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, are spotted switching cars during a getaway. The farmer who saw them is able to identify the make of the second car and the first few letters of the license plate. The police have been unable to identify any of the gang members, who are George Legenza, William B. Phillips, Robert Mais, Herbie Brooks and Noyes. All have long police records, but received only light sentences. Now, the police hope the license plate will eventually lead them to the criminals, and a special group, headed by an investigator named Truscott, is put together to pursue them. That evening, the robbers celebrate with their wives and girl friends. Madeline Walton, Legenza's girl, is tired of life with a criminal, but when she begs Legenza to get out of the business, he brutally silences her. Phillips is newly married to Lee Fontaine, a French-Canadian woman who knows nothing of his real profession. The disgruntled Madeline drops broad hints to the truth, further angering Legenza. Realizing that she is in danger, Madeline tries to run away, but Legenza follows her and kills her. Lee blames herself for Madeline's death and begs Phillips to leave the gang. He promises that after they pull one more big job, he will return to Canada with her. Legenza, who has been tipped off to a shipment of two million dollars at the Richmond mint, kills one of the guards during the robbery, and the police set up roadblocks on the surrounding roads. The gang quickly discovers that the money, which was being returned to the mint for burning, has been cut into pieces, and after the gangsters pass the roadblock by hiding in a shipment of eggs, Legenza kills the tipster. When they return to the waiting women, Lee is extremely upset, causing Legenza to suspect that she might be a danger to the gang. Outside the apartment, a routine police check identifies the gang's car from the partial license number. They wait in the street for the gangsters to appear, and during the ensuing shootout, Phillips is killed. Legenza returns to the apartment, where Mais, his girl friend, Mary Simms, and Lee have remained. On Phillips' body, the police find several pictures of Lee. They investigate Phillips' acquaintances, and one of the policemen involved in the shootout identifies Legenza's photograph. Meanwhile, the remaining gangsters go into hiding. Realizing that Phillips' death leaves her vulnerable, Lee tries several times to escape, but is always stopped by Legenza. Finally, when he goes out to get something to eat, leaving Mais to guard her, Lee manages to escape from the apartment, but is spotted by the returning Legenza, who pursues and shoots her. The following day, Mary learns from a radio broadcast that Lee is not dead, but is in a coma. Legenza decides to finish the murder and sends Mary ahead to assess the situation. In the hospital, Mary pretends to be a reporter and, after she learns Lee's room number, telephones Legenza with the information. Her questions raise Truscott's suspicions, and she is arrested after her story breaks down under interrogation. There is a shootout when Mais and Legenza arrive at the hospital, and Mais is killed, but Legenza escapes. Later, the getaway car crashes, and again Legenza crawls away, but is killed by a train when he collapses on the tracks. The police conclude that the whole situation could have been avoided if the criminals had not been treated so leniently at the beginning of their careers. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.