In the bordertown of San Pablo, preparing for an annual 'Mexican Fiesta,' arrives Gagin: tough, mysterious and laconic. His mission: to find the equally mysterious Frank Hugo, evidently for... See full summary »
In the bordertown of San Pablo, preparing for an annual 'Mexican Fiesta,' arrives Gagin: tough, mysterious and laconic. His mission: to find the equally mysterious Frank Hugo, evidently for revenge; or is it blackmail? FBI agent Retz is also after the elusive Hugo. Everyone in town is enigmatic, especially Pila, a mystical teenager who follows Gagin around and has premonitions of his death. Also involved are a classic femme fatale and an antique carousel with a pink horse... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
From the film's opening scene, which shows the protagonist, Lucky Gagin, emerging from a bus into a dusty Mexican town, the viewer is hooked. There are so many good things about this film, primarily the acting performances -- Robert Montgomery is a standout, as are Wanda Hendrix, Fred Clark, Thomas Gomez, and Art Smith. They each completely occupy their characters and make them come to life. Another highlight is the dialogue -- there are numerous memorable exchanges between Montgomery and Hendrix, and Clark delivers two especially well-written diatribes that serve to solidify his character in the consciousness. The story itself is quite simple, and is driven far more by characterization than by plot, but that is what makes the film so good. The film also contains its share of classically dark noir imagery -- most memorable is the scene in which the Gomez character is savagely beaten by two hoods while a group of neighborhood children sail along on the nearby merry-go-round, at first gaily enjoying the free ride but growing increasingly somber and afraid as they witness the brutal attack. This one is a definite must-see, particularly for film noir buffs, but also for film lovers of all types.
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