Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Tuesday’s Overlooked Film: Cold in July
Michael C. Hall is a family man and small business owner who shoots and kills an intruder breaking into his home one night. The local cops congratulate him and others hail him for his actions. But killing a man is not something to be proud of, Hall feels, even if in protecting his family.
The police identify the intruder as a known dirt bag from a criminal family. Soon an older man who is a career criminal and the father of the intruder, played by Sam Shepard, arrives in town and stalks Hall.
Before Shepard’s character can harm the man who killed his son, a twist comes out of the blue. Hall learns that the intruder was not Shepard’s son. The police stand firm that the intruder was identified correctly. Why are they lying, Hall and Shepard wonder?
To find out, Shepard contacts an old pal and private investigator played by Don Johnson. Johnson’s arrival in a red Cadillac sends the film into high gear as the three of them work to unravel the mystery, discover why the cops are lying and find Shepard’s son.
When Shepard and Johnson set out on this mission with Hall tagging along, I could not help smiling at the incongruity of the mild-mannered suburban dad riding off with these violent men. This odd little crime film is well worth a look.