While I am not sure if it was Cornel Wilde or The Big Combo that impressed me the most at the time , it’s this near classic title from 1955 that would be my first recollection of putting a face to the name. I do know that my first viewing of this film was in the early days of the VHS tape when public domain titles were turning up in local super market bargain bins next to the cassette tapes and latest LP releases.

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I did know who Lee Van Cleef and Earl Holliman were and it was there participation that was my original reasoning for wanting to see this gritty noir effort that surrounded Wilde with the likes of Richard Conte, Brian Donlevy and Wilde’s then wife, Jean Wallace.

It’s my love of this film that put Mr. Wilde on my radar leading me to check out many of his titles in various genre’s over the coming years. Something I’m still doing today when given the opportunity.

“It’s my sworn duty to push too hard. ”


Wilde tangles with the stunning Gene Tierney in this classic tale of cold blooded murder that chills to the bone.

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Picking up where Flynn left off.

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The promise of adventure and Donna Reed.

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In 1955 Wilde, directed Storm Fear, his first feature and wisely enlisted Dan Duryea to participate alongside Jean and himself.

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He would continue to focus on directing himself in the years ahead.

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This 1975 thriller was the last of eight features that Cornel directed. Seven of which he starred. No Blade of Grass being the only title he worked behind but not in front of the camera as well.


One from my personal collection of original posters is a film I saw early on. I was instantly caught up in Wilde’s harrowing struggle to survive against all odds on screen in a film that pulls few punches and one that has continued to find an audience over the years. Though I haven’t seen all of Cornel’s directed films, I suspect this 1965 release is his best effort.