Joe Sullivan is itching to get out of prison. He's taken the rap for Rick, who owes him $50 Grand. Rick sets up an escape for Joe, knowing that Joe will be caught escaping and be shot or ... See full summary »
When the intelligent criminal Erwin "Doc" Riedenschneider is released from prison, he seeks a fifty thousand-dollar investment from the bookmaker Cobby to recruit a small gang of specialists for a million-dollar heist of jewels from a jewelry. Doc is introduced to the lawyer Alonzo D. Emmerich that offers to finance the whole operation and buy the gems immediately after the burglary. Doc hires the safecracker Louis Ciavelli, the driver Gus Minissi and the gunman Dix Handley to the heist. His plan works perfectly but bad luck and betrayals compromise the steps after the heist and the gangsters need to flee from the police. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A publicity photo for the film showed Dix between Doll and Angela, who desperately tries to get him to turn away from Doll. Angela and Dix never meet in the film. See more »
When the police enter Gus's diner, he turns the volume of the music up, but oddly he does it by turning the dial anticlockwise, which would normally turn volume down. When they go, Gus turns the volume down, again turning the dial anticlockwise. See more »
In one of John Huston's best told stories as a director, Dix Handley (Sterling Hayden) gets involved with a group of jewel thieves in on a deal to score half a million dollars in the Midwest. But things get complicated, as they usually do, but in some unexpected ways. This is a crime story that has 'film-noir' written all over it, with stark, striking cinematography (some great close-ups of Hayden in a few key moments), slick, bare-bones direction from Huston, and the best cast of character actors one could hope to see- Hayden is terrific as Handley, a kind of archetype for the tough guy in many hard-boiled crime stories; Jaffee and Calhern are perfect as the Doc Riedenschneider, quirky but smart mastermind behind the caper, and the scheming rich man Emmerich fronting the money for the caper. Marilyn Monroe, in her first scenes in any movie, is a highlight as well as the sort of ditsy dame of the story. The climax is a knockout, and the robbery scenes themselves are quite tense, but the details leading up to the robbery and the aftermath are the best parts.
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