Sam Clayton has a good heart and likes to help out people in need. In fact, he likes to help them out so much that he often finds himself broke and unable to help his own family buy the things they need--like a house.
When Miss Vicki's father dies, she becomes the world's greatest philanthropist. Unfortunately, she is flat broke! Her loyal butler, Claude Fitzwilliam, leads the household staff to rob from... See full summary »
Dick Van Dyke,
A thug is convicted and undergoes experimental brain surgery to remove the criminal element in his brain. The operation wipes out all memories of his past life, including where he stashed ... See full summary »
Ted de Corsia
Detective Chris Kelvaney has a brother, Eddie, who also is a policeman. He witnessed a murderer running away from the scene of the crime. Chris has contacts with the gangster Beaumonte, who... See full summary »
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 »
The following title card appears on screen right before the start of the opening credits: "Because of the disclosures made in this film, powerful underworld interests tried to halt production with threats of violence and reprisal. It was only through the armed protection provided by members of the Police Department in the locales where the picture was filmed, that this story was able to reach the screen. To these men, and to the U.S. Rangers at Boulder Dam, we are deeply grateful." See more »
This film stars Edmund O'Brien as a scheming and brilliant mobster--a far cry from the good guy roles in Film Noir films such as DOA and WHITE HEAT. It seems that although at the beginning of the film he's a simple worker for the phone company, he is an expert with electronics and phone lines, so he's able to help a small California mob grow until it controlled the entire state's bookmaking operation. Not content to be just a bit player, he works his way up to the top of this mob until the "big boys" back East recognize his worth and they want a piece of the action. At first, things work out well for O'Brien and he becomes very rich with this new arrangement. However, over time, this relationship sours. Eventually, O'Brien's greed and feelings of invulnerability take their toll--leading to a stirring finale at Hoover Dam.
As expected, O'Brien did an excellent job and he was one terrific actor--particularly in his gangster films. O'Brien's love interest is Joanne Dru, who plays a screwed up lady who wants to see O'Brien go straight but does nothing to actually change him and also does a lot to excuse his excesses. The national syndicate is headed by veteran actor Otto Kruger, who does a nice job playing the "sophisticated and cultured" thug. Oddly, Howard St. John plays the honest and determined police detective bent on stopping O'Brien--since in most films St. John plays heavies or weak-willed jerks.
Overall, it was a very engaging and original Noir film. In particular, the electronics angle was very, very high-tech for 1950 and still was intriguing today. Also, while this film isn't so violent or full of colorful Noir lingo, it does have enough to satisfy fans of the genre. Overall, it's a very good film but a far cry from the greatness and excitement of the better examples of Noir due to its occasionally heavy-handed "crime does not pay" message. As for me, I prefer my Noir a bit more on the cold side.
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