Cast & Crew
At 4:00 a.m., American Steve Catlett, limping and marked by a heavy scar on his face, arrives at a train station in Rome. As he waits, he remembers the events two months earlier that brought him there: Steve drives to the auto showroom in Rome that he co-owns with his friend, Gustavo Venturi. There, Steve is entranced by Angela Towne, a secretary selecting a car for her employer, nightclub owner Delio Bertolati. During their test drive, Steve persuades Angela to stop for lunch. Angela is bemused by Steve's persistent flirtation, but that afternoon, gives him an excuse to call her by claiming to have lost her lipstick case in the car. They are happy to see each other again the following morning, when Steve delivers the car to Bertolati, who states that he will buy it after it has been re-painted. Angela and Steve begin dating, and as a week passes, Steve falls deeply in love with her. One night, an hysterical Angela calls Steve and begs him to come to her apartment. Upon his arrival, Steve finds Bertolati's dead body, and Angela tells him that Bertolati collapsed from a heart attack after barging in, raving about Steve and slapping her. Angela swears that although the married Bertolati was interested in her, their relationship was platonic. When Steve states that they must call the police, Angela protests, asserting that the publicity will be scandalous. Succumbing to Angela's pleas, Steve agrees to move the body. Wearing Bertolati's hat and coat, Steve exits via the lobby to fool the desk clerk into believing that Bertolati left alive. Steve then drives Bertolati's car into a gully off a country road. Returning to Angela's apartment, Steve puts the body into his own car, but, fearing that his distinctive automobile could be recognized, Steve goes to his showroom's garage and stashes Bertolati's body into one of the cars. Steve then reaches the gully just as Bertolati's car is being towed out. Panicking, Steve goes home and hides the car with the body in his garage before falling asleep. When he awakens, he discovers that the car is gone, and his own has been returned. Steve then learns that, coincidentally, he had hidden Bertolati's body into the car that Bertolati had bought from him. Steve races to Bertolati's club, to which the car is being delivered, but before he can stop her, Angela drives off in the car. After Steve returns home, he is questioned by Commissario Ambrosi, who reports that Bertolati's wife's car was empty, and that the club owner has disappeared. Ambrosi asks him about Angela, who is also missing, but Steve claims not to have seen her for several days. Steve then receives a telegram from Angela telling him the name of the hotel at which she is hiding. There, Steve and Angela are reunited and he tells her that Bertolati's corpse is still in the car. Late that night, they drive to a remote area, where Steve intends to hide Bertolati's automobile. While preparing the scene, however, Steve finds a letter from Bertolati, proclaiming his love for Angela. Believing the worst, Steve leaves Angela behind without letting her explain. Steve then gets drunk, and when he returns to his room, a stranger is waiting. Steve sobers up quickly when the man attacks him and reveals himself to be Nino Terrazzi, Angela's jealous ex-husband. At gunpoint, Nino forces Steve to return to Bertolati's car, and Nino knocks him unconscious. While Steve is out, Nino shoots Bertolati's body with Steve's gun, which Nino had taken. When Steve regains consciousness, he sees the gunshot wound in the body and believes that Angela conspired with Nino to kill Bertolati. Steve is able to trick Nino into leaning into the trunk and kills him by smashing the lid down on him. Steve then puts Nino and Bertolati into the front seats and begins to push the car into a canyon. At the last second, Steve remembers that Nino has his gun, and gets the weapon out of his pocket just in time. Steve passes out while returning to Rome and spends four days in a pneumonia-induced delirium. When he recovers, Steve learns that Angela has been nursing him, but nonetheless accuses her of lying to him about Bertolati's death. Later, Ambrosi visits Steve and tells him that Bertolati had been receiving threats from an ex-convict named Nino, and that $80,000 had been embezzled from Bertolati's nightclub. Steve then sends for Angela, who denies that Nino killed Bertolati at her apartment. Angela admits, however, that she saw Nino at the hotel after her fight with Steve, and told him about the body so that he could help her dispose of it. Steve tells Angela that he killed Nino, and Angela, horrified at what she has driven Steve to do, speculates him that Nino must have had a reason for shooting Bertolati's corpse. Soon after, Bertolati and Nino are found, and Ambrosi informs Steve and Angela that Bertolati was shot with the gun recovered from the car. The next night, Bertolati and his sergeant, Collina, visit Steve's apartment and demand his gun and permit. The serial number of Steve's gun, which is the same caliber as the one that shot Bertolati, does not have the same serial number as Steve's permit, and Steve realizes that he grabbed Nino's gun by mistake. Just as Steve is about to confess, Angela walks in and denies knowing anything about Bertolati's death. Flabbergasted, Steve escapes and goes to Angela's apartment, where he is searching for clues when she arrives. Steve hits her, and Angela admits that she embezzled the money from Bertolati's club, then stabbed him to death when he confronted her. Before Steve can take Angela to the police, she shoots him in the face and in the lower back. Unable to kill him, however, Angela drops the gun as Ambrosi pounds on the door. His reverie over, Steve finds that it is now 4:30 at the train station. Ambrosi arrives and congratulates him on his acquittal at trial, stating that he knew Steve was not guilty. As they talk, Steve regrets having run away that night, for Ambrosi could have told him that the autopsy revealed Bertolati died from being stabbed, not shot. Just then, a police car carrying Angela arrives, and Steve watches as she boards the train that will transport her to a lifetime in prison.
Maria Teresa Paliani
Schuberth Of Rome
Writer Steve Carruthers' surname is misspelled "Carruters" in the onscreen credits. Voice-over narration by Dennis O'Keefe, as "Steve Catlett," is heard intermittently throughout the film. As noted in the onscreen credits, the film was shot completely on location in Rome, Italy. Although several reviews stated that Angela marked actor Dennis O'Keefe's directorial debut, he had previously directed the 1954 release The Diamond Wizard (see below). Jonathan Rix, the name of one of the screenwriters, was O'Keefe's pseudonym.
According to a April 12, 1955 Daily Variety news item, O'Keefe and producer Steven Pallos co-owned Patria Pictures and hoped to produce another film for United Artists release, to be directed by O'Keefe. Angela was the last film directed by O'Keefe, however. O'Keefe and Pallos had previously collaborated on two other films shot in England, The Fake and The Diamond Wizard (see below). Angela marked their last film together.