Highway 301 (film)

Highway 301 is an American 1950 crime drama film noir written and directed by Andrew L. Stone, and starring Steve Cochran, Virginia Grey, Gaby André and Edmon Ryan.[2]

Highway 301
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAndrew L. Stone
Produced byBryan Foy
Screenplay byAndrew L. Stone
StarringSteve Cochran
Virginia Grey
Narrated byEdmon Ryan
Music byWilliam Lava
CinematographyCarl Guthrie
Edited byOwen Marks
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • December 1, 1950 (1950-12-01) (United States)
Running time
83 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,604,000[1]


A gang of robbers are terrorizing and robbing banks and payrolls in North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. The gang's leader, George, seems to take particular delight in "bumping off" women who cross him. The film starts with comments from then-governors of North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland about how crime doesn't pay.



Box Office

According to Warner Bros records the film earned $759,000 domestically and $845,000 foreign.[1]

Critical response

When the film was first released, The New York Times critic Bosley Crowther caustically panned it, writing, "The most disturbing and depressing of the many depressing things about the Strand's current Warner Brothers' shocker, Highway 301, is the fact that governors in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina endorse this cheap gangster melodrama as an effective deterrent to crime. In forewords which are personally delivered by Maryland's lame-duck Governor Lane and by Virginia's and North Carolina's Governors Battle and Scott, respectively, these eminent and honorable officials convey the solemn idea that what you are about to see is something that will prove to you how profitless crime is ... However, the whole thing, concocted and directed by Andrew L. Stone, is a straight exercise in low sadism. And the reactions at the Strand yesterday among the early audience, made up mainly of muscular youths, might have shocked and considerably embarrassed the governors mentioned above."[3]

Film critic Dennis Schwartz gave the film a positive review, writing, "Andrew Stone (Julie/Cry Terror!/The Steel Trap) effectively directs this enjoyable action-filled B film crime drama that wants us to know that 'crime doesn't pay.'"[4]


  1. Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 31 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  2. Highway 301 at the TCM Movie Database.
  3. Crowther, Bosley (December 9, 1950). "THE SCREEN; Standard Crime Film". The New York Times. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  4. Schwartz, Dennis (February 3, 2011). "Enjoyable action-filled B film crime drama that wants us to know that 'crime doesn't pay.'". Ozus' World Movie Reviews. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
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