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 »
A better than routine, if not exceptional, noir crime drama, with O'Brien excellent in the lead, and good casting throughout. Opening and closing textural comments convey the sense that this is more of a sensational expose of syndicate control of horse-race betting (a major West coast institution if there ever was one), produced "under threat". That remains to be seen. What is undeniable is that a well-paced tale of one man's ambition is engagingly portrayed. Of particular interest are the wonderful filming locations in the L.A. area -- rich streetscapes--full of marvelous period detail, "Modern" architecture as seen in circular drive-ins, open plan houses, groovy bars ands nightclubs, and some flavor of Palm Springs weekending. With the evolution of O'Brien's character from a telephone repairman into a major crime so well reflected in the improvements in his dress, along with the sartorial variety among the leads, one gets a nice sense of personal style in this period. Worth a look.
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