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 »
After Larry's funeral, after Mal and Gail talk to Carl Stephans and they walk away, the whole filming crew is reflected on the door of Carl's black car. See more »
You've sure got the angles, Mal. If it was anybody but Vince he'd give you part of the take.
He'll cut me in, Chippie. I've got him by the short hairs right now.
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The credits say "introducing Sammy White", when in fact Sammy White had been making films since about 1930. His most famous screen role was Frank Schultz in the 1936 "Show Boat". See more »
After seeing this movie, you may not look at a telephone repairman the same way again. Actually the result seems closer to the Cagney films of the thirties than to the noirs of the forties. For phone lineman Eddie O'Brien, it's a success story, as opportunity, know-how, and drive propel him to the top of the bookie racket. Fortunately the always energetic O'Brien makes the transition from working stiff to bookie king-pin both dynamic and believable. Then too, we meet some interesting people along the way, including smoothie Otto Kruger doing his best imitation of a smiling cobra, even as young marrieds Joanne Dru and Don Porter practice their 1950's version of open marriage. And in a usual thankless part, moon-faced Barry Kelley who bull-dozes everyone within reach through eyes so pinched, they're barely more than razor slits. Still, it's unheralded bit actors like him that really make movies like this work.
Director Joe Newman keeps things moving nicely, even the colorless scenes featuring the forces of law and order don't bog down the pacing. There're also some good location shots in and around LA, with an exhausting climax up and down the the stairwells of Boulder Dam as the giant turbines hum in the background. (I wonder how they get ordinary people who probably just happened to be at the dam that day, to be so natural with a movie camera and crew staring them in the face. Somehow they do.) My favorite part is setting up the "past-posting" scheme, showing how every technical innovation presents a criminal mastermind with a twisted opportunity. All in all, 7-11 may not be a jack-pot dice roll, but it is a decent thriller, entertaining if not exactly memorable.
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