Down 10,644 this week

Riffraff (1947)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Drama  |  15 September 1947 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 227 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 4 critic

A plane takes off from Peru (in a long no-dialogue scene) in a storm with two passengers; it lands in Panama with one. The missing man had valuable oil-location maps; everyone who is after ... See full summary »



0Check in

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1217 titles
created 28 Jan 2012
a list of 28 titles
created 09 Sep 2013
list image
a list of 100 titles
created 14 Nov 2013
a list of 575 titles
created 7 months ago
a list of 47 titles
created 6 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Riffraff" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Riffraff (1947)

Riffraff (1947) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Riffraff.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When Miss Marple joins a theatrical company after a blackmailer is murdered, several members of the troupe are also dispatched by this mysterious killer.

Director: George Pollock
Stars: Margaret Rutherford, Ron Moody, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Billy Jack battles outlaw motorcycle gang in a small California beach town.

Director: Tom Laughlin
Stars: Tom Laughlin, Elizabeth James, Jeremy Slate
Murder Ahoy (1964)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After Miss Marple is made a trustee of a merchant marine training vessel, a fellow trustee is poisoned, and ship's officers are later murdered after she comes on board.

Director: George Pollock
Stars: Margaret Rutherford, Lionel Jeffries, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In the 1920s, enterprising Louise Randall is determined to succeed in a man's world. She enrolls at business college but her plans for a career change when she falls in love with handsome ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Rosalind Russell, Jack Carson, Robert Hutton
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When Miss Marple reports witnessing a murder through the window of a passing train, the police dismiss her as a dotty spinster when no trace of the crime can be found.

Director: George Pollock
Stars: Margaret Rutherford, Arthur Kennedy, Muriel Pavlow
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

At first gas station attendant Poet is happy when the rockers gang "Hell's Angels" finally accepts him. But he's shocked when he learns how brutal they are - not even murder is a taboo to ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Rush
Stars: Adam Roarke, Jack Nicholson, Sabrina Scharf
Action | Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Incited by a disillusioned young man who has decided to flee from civilization, a group of 4 people go searching for freedom and happiness on an isolated island . When their boat goes ... See full summary »

Director: Amos Sefer
Stars: Asher Tzarfati, Shmuel Wolf, Lily Avidan
Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Based on the HG Wells story. The world is delighted when a space craft containing a crew made up of the world's astronauts lands on the moon, they think for the first time. But the delight ... See full summary »

Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: Edward Judd, Martha Hyer, Lionel Jeffries
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Princess Leah is the rightful heir to a tribal throne which has been stolen from her by the dastardly Hassan. Bomba the Jungle Boy, of course, comes to her rescue.

Director: Ford Beebe
Stars: Johnny Sheffield, Sue England, Paul Guilfoyle
So Big! (1932)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Selina lived well until her father Simeon died. Her aunts sold the estate and put her in a boarding school. As an adult she wants to be a teacher in farming country. She falls in love with ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Dickie Moore
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Profiles the troubles of the average woman and her makeup.

Director: Philip Anderson
Stars: Pete Smith, Gertrude Short, Jacqueline White
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Covering the tulip festival in Little Delft, Michigan, reporter Henry Taggart takes a room at an inn ran by an eccentric old Dutchman, Mr. Van Maaster and his seven daughters. The eldest, ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Marsha Hunt, Cecilia Parker


Complete credited cast:
Walter Slezak ...
Eric Molinar
Percy Kilbride ...
Jerome Cowan ...
Walter Gredson
George Givot ...
Major Rues
Jason Robards Sr. ...
Mr. Domingues (as Jason Robards)
Marc Krah ...
Charles Hasso


A plane takes off from Peru (in a long no-dialogue scene) in a storm with two passengers; it lands in Panama with one. The missing man had valuable oil-location maps; everyone who is after them must deal with Dan Hammer, combination private eye, agent, and con man, who can "fix" anything for a fee. Nightclub singer Maxine is on Dan's side... or is she? The rest is lighthearted, white-suited tropical intrigue. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

15 September 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Riff-Raff  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dan Hammer: Guys around bars talk. Anything you can find out will be worth fifty.
Maxine Manning: No thanks. That wouldn't keep me in aspirin.
See more »


Referenced in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) See more »


Written by Alex Kramer and Joan Whitney
Performed by Anne Jeffreys and backups
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The trouble with riffraff is that you don't always see them coming...
7 February 2008 | by (Brisbane, Australia) – See all my reviews

I was never taken much by Pat O'Brien, even though he appeared in many good movies since 1930. This is another good one, but not because of Pat O'Brien...

This was the first time I saw Anne Jeffreys, and for her alone it's worth seeing this film: without doubt, Jeffreys is a head-turner and heart-stopper. In reviewing her acting career, it's now clear to me why I have missed seeing her: soon after the early 1950s, she moved into TV for most of her career. And, as I have mostly avoided TV, well, there you go...

Anyway, to the movie...

I guess I'd call this type of story an adventure, a treasure hunt for black gold in the form of a missing map of oil wells in Peru, and a map that various nasty people are all trying to find. The reason for that lost map is finely drawn – on a dark and stormy night (okay, there are a few clichés along the way in this narrative) - with an exquisitely done sequence at the start, as the camera pulls back from a lizard at the edge of airfield in deepest Peru to reveal a waiting DC-3 and a small group of people trying to hear themselves think while the rain pours down on the tin roof of the terminal. Not a word is spoken, natch. Eventually, a passenger arrives to board the plane with another who'd been waiting. The plane leaves, clawing its way into the storm with the passengers sitting with the cargo. During the voyage, however, one of the passengers either jumps or is pushed from the plane – but the other passenger, Hasso (Mark Krah), now has the map...

From that point, you know there's more dirty dealings coming and, after telling his story to the cops, Hasso hires PI Dan Hammer (Pat O'Brien) to act as a bodyguard. Leaving Hasso at the hotel, Hammer visits Gredson (Jerome Cowan) who hires Hammer to find the map that Hasso now has, unbeknown to both. Hasso, being devious, hides the map in plain sight – a delightful ironic touch that's used to good effect throughout the movie, but would have been better, in my opinion, if the viewer had been kept in the dark also.

However...the plot thickens when Molinar (Walter Slezak), another treasure seeker, starts putting the squeeze on Hammer to get the map, and who roughs up Maxine (Anne Jeffreys) while trying to find it in Hammer's office where Maxine had been waiting. Maxine, you see, had wormed her way into Hammer's sight at the club where she sings – not only for herself as a singer, but as a spy for Gredson with whom she is romantically involved. Or is she? That's for Hammer to find out, along the way. Got the picture?

The denouement, of course, is fairly predictable but enlivened by Percy Kilbride as Pop, the taxi driver who shows how easy it is to run circles around unwary and over-confident crooks on the run. The whole movie is further enhanced by the dark/light cinematography that captures the Panama City scene so well (even though it's a Hollywood back-lot); indeed, the highly inventive chase at night between Hammer, on foot, and Molinar in the taxi with Pop, almost leaves you...well, breathless; and wondering whether Carol Reed chose to use the same techniques of dark shadows, narrow streets and running footsteps in The Third Man (1949) when Holly Martins (Joseph Cotton) chases Harry Lime (Orson Welles) in post-war Vienna. The similarity is quite distinctive, even down to some of the skewed close-ups and sharp camera angles.

And, finally, the dialog throughout is just right: sharp, full of innuendo, devious, and witty - and every bit as good as others you've heard in great thrillers and intrigues.

Pat O'Brien does a credible job – as always – but his attempt as a hard-boiled PI and fixer doesn't quite match Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past (1947) or the great Bogie in any one of his fine works from the 1940s or 1950s. However, I was looking at Anne Jeffreys most of the time anyway...

If you get the chance, see this one, for an enjoyable eighty minutes. Recommended for all.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Only 88 votes? tebor79
Discuss Riffraff (1947) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: