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Three navy men run into a shady producer who convinces them to invest into his new show. When they meet the show's female star attraction, they're sold. Have they become the latest showbiz players or just three more suckers?
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John H. Auer
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Two years ago, hunting guide Mike Davis was with a client who trespassed on diamond company land and found a rich lode; Paul Vogel, sadistic commandant of company police, beat Mike nearly to death but failed to learn the location. Now Mike is back in Diamantstad, South African desert, and manager Martingale has a better idea: he hires delectable adventuress Suzanne to ferret out Mike's secret. But she soon finds she's playing with fire. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
During one scene with Burt Lancaster, Corinne Calvet felt nauseous and threw up on her leading man. She was not able to film anything else that day. She remained grateful to the actor that he never mentioned it after she returned and gave her suggestions and encouragement. She credits him for her success in Hollywood. See more »
When Vogel tries to kiss Suzanne, the lighting changes completely from one cut to the next. See more »
This part of the desert of South Africa, where only a parched camel thorn tree relieves the endless parallels of time, space, and sky, surrounds like a rope of sand the richest diamond-bearing area in the world -- an uneasy land where men inflamed by monotony and the heat sometimes forget the rules of civilization.
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A man (Burt Lancaster) abused by a sadistic mining company cop (Paul Henreid) before he could tell where on their desert property he had found diamonds decides to steal them instead.
Glenn Erickson reflected on the background of the film and how it was received when first released, "Although William Dieterle's direction is capable, the script works too hard to introduce an overly familiar collection of stock thriller types ... Critics generally liked Lancaster's performance, even if they slighted the work of Claude Rains and Peter Lorre and saved the bulk of their praise for Paul Henried's nasty villain." Indeed, those who watch the film for Lorre may be disappointed on little screen time he receives.
Reflecting decades later, Burt Lancaster singled this out as his least favorite film. That was due to personal reasons, however, so may not necessarily reflect whether this was (in his opinion) his worst performance.
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