A piano teacher believes that her fiancé, a cellist, was killed on the battlefield. When he returns alive, they marry, but are menaced and threatened by a wealthy, egotistical composer she started dating on the rebound.
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>
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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This is a film of considerable charm and interest, a postwar noir updating of the Warner Bros. "Casablanca"-style foreign intrigue routine that substitutes a refreshing toughness for the earlier films' cotton-candy romanticism. As usual, the stalwart leading man plays second fiddle to the character roles. Claude Rains takes his wry-and-witty routine to the level of sublime high camp, Peter Lorre purrs lyrical philosophy in a rumpled linen suit and three-day beard, and Paul Henried does much better as the arrogant, sadistic villain (reminiscent of Ronald Merrick in "Jewel in the Crown") than he ever did as a leading man. There's even subtle criticism of the apartheid system thrown in. What could have been a minor classic and certainly the best of the "Casablanca" clones is severely compromised however by the presence of Corinne Calvet, whose ferret face and rusty-hinge voice make a potentially pleasurable film difficult to watch, let alone enjoy.
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