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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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Today's filmmakers could learn from films like this
Actor Gene Raymond directed himself and two other pros, Francis Lederer and Osa Massen, in this engaging and tight little 72 minute genuine film noir. Raymond also co-authored the original story.
Raymond, a stock broker, makes off for Hawaii as a stopover for Shanghai, having absconded with company funds, but he runs afoul of Lederer who is attempting to blackmail the fetching Massen -- it takes a flashback to understand why.
The movie makes the most of its limited budget to tell its story, without any bad language and without any nudity, blood, chase scenes, or jumping into bed, all of which seem to be the pretensions or gimmicks of many modern movies. It does well in intertwining the romantic element.
What it does possess is superior continuity and film editing that allow the story to move forward without interruption but with tension. A simple thing like getting on an airplane is broken up properly by shots of the pilots and a brief communication by them as well as by shots of a newlywed couple and a group seeing others off. Modern movies tend to be too sparse with such details and too focused with overly long scenes on the leads, but these kinds of scenes give the viewer both time to absorb the action and a greater sense of reality. And that is not all that such older movies, even b-movies like this, have to offer. The dialogue is that of grownup people facing grownup problems, not that of childish adults.
The better modern movies are exactly those that take their stories seriously but do not overdo it. There are many ways to go wrong in constructing a movie.
This movie is not a top-notch noir by any means, but it is relatively undiscovered and will be valued by all noir fans.
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