During courtroom drama, philandering California stockbroker Larry Ballentine, on trial for murdering his wife and girlfriend, takes the stand to explain one death as suicide and the other as an accident.
A California mining camp is plagued by a series of murders. Four people come under suspicion for the killings and are run out of the camp. During a blizzard they take refuge in an isolated ... See full summary »
The big national crime syndicate has moved into town, partnering up with local crime boss Nick Scanlon. There are only two problems: First, Nick is the violent type, preferring to do things... 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
The title seems to refer to the beach house address which is never mentioned in the film. See more »
When Mal and Chippie first enter the loan company (the front for Walters' bookmaking organization), the signs on the windows both say "Libert Finance" - both "Libert"s clearly have a last letter - a "Y" - painted over. Eight minutes later in the film, when L.A.'s new "Gangster Squad" is going over a file about the company, both signs in a photo say "Libertt Finance" (with a "T" replacing the blacked out "Y" seen earlier). See more »
The following written statement appears on screen before the opening credits and theme music: "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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