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Nicholas Lawrence, a young stockbroker, embezzles a million dollars worth of cash and stock, planning to flee to Shanghai. En route, he meets Cynthia Strong, who is fleeing Los Angeles after the suspicious death of her husband. When a blackmailer tries to force her to pay him or he'll accuse her of murder, she appeals to Nicholas for assistance. During a layover in Honolulu, while Nicholas and Cynthia are eating dinner, the blackmailer steals the attaché case containing the stolen loot. Nicholas and Cynthia pursue the thief to San Francisco in a desperate attempt to recover the stocks and money before Nicholas' now regretted embezzlement is discovered. Written by
The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »
[Nicholas has just stuffed cash and stocks embezzled from his clients in an attache case when Dave walks into his office]
Well... leaving so soon?
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One evening company executive Gene Raymond decides to start a new life, with the company's money. He takes all the money & stock papers he can from his office safe and boards a plane to Honolulu, where he will switch to a plane to Shanghai. On the plane he meets recent widow Osa Massen (credited as Stephanie Paull), who is being stalked by family friend Francis Lederer who tries to blackmail her, as he claims he saw her kill her husband. Massen tries to use Raymond to get Lederer off her back, but it only leads to more trouble when Lederer steals Raymond's suitcase with the money & papers and heads to San Francisco, just as Raymond decides his boring life is exciting enough after all.
Despite what IMDb thinks, this movie is pretty far removed from film noir. It has a few elements with the dissatisfied, stealing protagonist and the blackmailer, as well as a potentially murderous widow, but it doesn't amount to much to be honest. The movie is fairly bland, things stay predictable and straight-forward, and while it does entertain decently enough, the ending is as predictable as they get.
Actor Gene Raymond went all out on this one, as he also co-wrote the story (with the producer) and directed it. He is pretty solid here, as are Massen and slimy Lederer. If only Raymond's writing and directing was more exciting. Heck, even veteran cinematographer Paul Ivano ('Black Angel', 'The Shanghai Gesture', 'The Suspect') doesn't excite here with only a few shadowy scenes.
A missed opportunity, there was potential here. Enjoyable in parts (and Raymond and Massen work well together) but not noir enough to earn a recommendation. 6/10
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