600full-the-tall-target-posterTHE TALL TARGET was a 1951 crime noir film directed by Anthony Mann. It starred Dick Powell as a police sergeant hunting for an assassin.

What makes it difficult is his superiors don’t believe his information or just don’t care. To keep them from stopping him, he quits, turning in his badge, and heads out to meet up with a friend on the force who’s meeting him at the station with his valise and ticket.

The tall target of the title is the new President-elect who’s headed for his inauguration in D.C. with a stopover in Baltimore for a speech beforehand.

The time is 1861 and it’s Abraham Lincoln’s assassination he wants to stop. He finds his friend murdered and the film is him looking for a killer on a train.

Will Geer plays a train conductor(this was before he was blacklisted for ten years for refusing to co-operate with HUAC), a very young Ruby Dee as Rachel, a slave maid, Marshal Thompson as a southern killer. and Adolphe Menjou as a militia colonel aboard the train.

Oh, one final note. This film was 1951. In a bit of a coincidence, the man trying to stop the assassination of Abraham Lincoln is named John Kennedy.

For more overlooked movies, drop in on Todd Mason over at Sweet Freedom.