After WW2, two army buddies, one of them terminally-ill, embark on a series of adventures in South-East Asia and run across a dangerous criminal and his pretty secretary.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Capt. Mike Perry
Wally Cassell ...
Sgt. Pete Rocco
...
Lt. Keon
Morris Carnovsky ...
Alex Maris
Mikhail Rasumny ...
Hotel Clerk
Luis Van Rooten ...
Simon
Eugene Borden ...
Boat Captain
...
Surgeon
Betty Bryant ...
Cafe Singer
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Storyline

After World War II Larry learns that his flying buddy Mike will only live a short time despite the efforts of the doctors. He takes on a profitable flying job for profiteers Maris to finance a good time for his buddy. As the plane takes off he shoves Maris' secretary Susan on board. When Mike falls for her, Larry tells her to play along for Mike's sake. She, of course, falls for Larry. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

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The Paris of the Orient!


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31 March 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Schmuggler von Saigon  »

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(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on July 29, 1949 with Alan Ladd reprising his film role. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Still Life 2 (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Indochinese intrigue a pretext for Ladd/Lake team to bid the screen a chilly farewell
17 February 2003 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Like Singapore, Calcutta and Macao, Saigon sets off to an Asian port of intrigue. Demobbed in Shanghai after action in the Pacific Theater, three flyboys postpone their return to the States because one of them, Douglas Dick, has only a month or two to live. The catch is that he doesn't know it; his pals Alan Ladd and Wally Cassell guard the secret, having decided, under cover of operating lucrative commercial flights, to pack `a whole lifetime' of excitement and pleasure into his brief span left.

Their first assignment, however, proves their last. Shady war profiteer Morris Carnovsky pays them a suspiciously large sum to take him to Saigon, the `Paris of the Orient.' But, detained by police and gunshots, he doesn't show for the punctual flight; instead, they carry his `secretary,' Veronica Lake, carting along a briefcase crammed with half a million. The crate they're flying has to crash-land, and they make the rest of the journey by boat to Saigon, giving a romantic triangle time to form: Both Dick (avidly) and Ladd (reluctantly) fall for Lake. But a police inspector (Luther Adler) just happens to be aboard as well....

Yet another romantic adventure in subtropical heat, Saigon owes much to John F. Seitz' solid camerawork (which deserves special mention for avoiding ceiling fans). It's pretty by-the-book, but not nearly so embarrassing as Ladd's Calcutta of the previous year.

The movie marks the last screen pairing of Ladd and Lake, an emblematic couple in the noir cycle noteworthy for their chilly emotional temperature. Whatever cryogenic chemistry they generated in This Gun For Hire and The Glass Key and The Blue Dahlia had by this time, alas, gone inert; few sparks get struck this close to absolute zero. Only the perfunctory conventions of the genre insist that their future together will be either a long or a happy one. Even that pretense is belied by the movie's final shot – in a cemetery.


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