A telephone repairman in Los Angeles uses his knowledge of electronics to help a bookie set up a betting operation. When the bookie is murdered, the greedy technician takes over his business. He ruthlessly climbs his way to the top of the local crime syndicate, but then gangsters from a big East Coast mob show up wanting a piece of his action. Written by
"Boulder Dam" is actually Hoover Dam. Congress authorized the Boulder Canyon Dam Project in 1931 and, it being traditional to name big federal dam projects after the sitting President, named it Hoover Dam. Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in 1932 but could not officially change the name set by Congress. Harold Ickes (FDR's Interior Secretary), however, issued a memo directing that his employees "...will refer to the dam as 'Boulder Dam' in this pamphlet as well as in correspondence and other references...." In 1947, after Roosevelt and Ickes had died, Congress passed a resolution to "restore" the name of Hoover Dam. Until that time, however, all official, tourist and other promotional materials called it "Boulder Dam." The public's recognition with the old name was still apparent in the movie (released in 1950) through the script and the highway signage seen en route. See more »
The tape recorders Mal uses to manipulate the Vegas sports book only have one reel. But this isn't a goof because he is recording announcements from the race track on one tape deck (with only a feed reel) and playing the tape back to the bookie network after a 2-minute delay on the second tape deck (with only a take-up reel. If you look closely at the shot, at some point you can see a big pile of loose tape from in between the reels sitting on the table in the background -- which is probably about 2 minutes worth of tape. That's how he gets the delay. See more »
"711 Ocean Drive" is an interesting '50s film noir set in Los Angeles. Edmond O'Brien stars as Mal Granger, a nice telephone repairman who is into a bookie for some gambling debts. The bookie makes a deal with him and, since he's a technician, has him do some modernization on the illegal gambling in the area that uses the wire service. The O'Brien character turns out to be pretty ambitious and greedy and starts making his way up the ladder in the syndicate. He does well until some guys from the East coast show up and want some of his action.
The O'Brien character really changes from the beginning, when he's a relaxed, friendly guy. Then he becomes ruthless and murderous. O'Brien does a great job in making this change believable. There are also very good performances from Howard St. John as a police officer, Bert Freed as a hit man, and Otto Kruger as a mob boss. Joanne Dru is the object of Mal's affections, although she's married to someone else.
Seeing Los Angeles in the '50s is one of the best parts of this film. Recommended for Edmond O'Brien, the scenery, and the noir style.
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