To penetrate a gang exploiting illegal Mexican farmworkers smuggled into California (and leaving no live witnesses), Mexican federal agent Pablo Rodriguez poses as an ignorant bracero, while his American counterpart Jack Bearnes works from outside. Soon, both are in deadly danger from the ringleader, sinister rancher Owen Parkson, and find night on the farm to be full of shadowy film-noir menace... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Near movie's end, Pablo Rodriguez (Montalban) is almost fully submerged in quicksand. However, immediately upon being pulled out, he looks like he's had a shower; the quicksand that had been on his face and hair is completely gone. See more »
This depiction of illegal border activity really illustrates the difference between what we thought was a serious problem in 1949 and what we know now is a much more serious problem. There is no mention of drugs or terrorism. The focus of this movie is the illegal practice of bringing in undocumented peasants from Mexico to work the farms and ranches of the Southwest. It tries very hard to show the brutality, greed, and complete absence of any human compassion on the part of the bad guys,seen in perspective today, it seems almost benign. We know now the bottomless depths these vermin will sink to in order to make a buck. We know that life today is worth less than it was then. Still, I think this is a worthwhile picture.
While watching this movie I was reminded again what a likable character George Murphy was. He plays the INS agent investigating this smuggling ring along with his Mexican counterpart played by Ricardo Montalban. They work well together - both in character and personally. They are surrounded by a despicable group of psychos that include Charles McGraw, Howard Da Silva, Arthur Hunnicut, and Alfonso Bedoya (Gold Hat from "Treasure of the Sierra Madre"). A good cast and a tense, suspense filled plot make this an enjoyable experience. My one major criticism is this mutual ass kissing we see between the "efficient" US and "incorruptable" Mexican federal cops. I may be wrong but I can't believe we ever have, or ever will enjoy that kind of cooperation.
14 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?