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Double Deal (1950)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | December 1950 (USA)
A young woman inherits an oil field, and hires an engineer to help her drill a well. The sister of the man who left her the oil field is determined to drive her and the engineer off the ... See full summary »



(screenplay) (as Charles S. Belden), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Richard Denning ...
Buzz Doyle
Taylor Holmes ...
C.D. 'Corpus' Mills
Fay Baker ...
Lilly Sebastian
Walter Karnes
Reno Sebastian
Thomas Browne Henry ...
Sheriff L.G. Morelli (as Tom Browne Henry)


A young woman inherits an oil field, and hires an engineer to help her drill a well. The sister of the man who left her the oil field is determined to drive her and the engineer off the property so she can take it for herself. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Plot Keywords:

oil | See All (1) »


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Release Date:

December 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fúria Perversa  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

With Richard Denning's help against Fay Baker, Marie Windsor seeks to bring in an oil well
11 July 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The film noir "Double Deal" doesn't have a profusion of noir images, but it has enough and, in any event, it more than makes up for images in the plot, characters and depiction of the emotions stirred up by the ambition for oil wealth in a small town in Oklahoma.

A bus rolls up in a quintessential American small town and unemployed oil engineer Richard Denning emerges, down to his last $10, but spirit and optimism intact. He spots the local bar where he'd like food and can only get boiled eggs at 10 cents each. The bartender is trying to close up but alcoholic lawyer Taylor Holmes won't let him. Marie Windsor emerges from a back room where there's a dice game going on between James Griffith and Carlton Young. Griffith, who at this point was breaking into the business and would become a familiar figure in subsequent decades, has rung in some shaved dice. He taunts Young to shoot for his ranch and oil rig, for a well that hasn't come in due to the machinations of his greedy sister, Fay Baker, who blames Young for her husband's death and wants all the oil leases in the area. Denning, showing that American penchant for risk-taking, has staked his last sawbuck in the game and lost. But when he sees the bad dice, he scuffles with Griffith, who is Baker's associate in a relationship that's cooling down. Marie Windsor likes what she sees in Denning. She's that independent woman who has knocked around, stands on her own two feet, and hasn't yet found a man to measure up. Pretty soon, Denning and Windsor are working together, but only after someone kills Young and his property passes to Windsor. The local sheriff suspects Denning and then Windsor. He's another familiar b-movie face, Thomas Browne Henry. He's Rocky Stansyck in "The Scar" (1948).

I like this movie a lot. It's exceedingly easy to take and it moves right along. It has plenty of surprises packed into its 64 minutes. It has fine b-players. It's unpretentious. Marie Windsor is memorable in "The Killing" (1958) as the wife of Elisha Cook, Jr. and in "Narrow Margin" (1952). Denning would become the governor in the long-running Hawaii 5-O series after being a stalwart in 50s sci-fi films. I cannot remember Fay Baker in her earlier films, which I've seen, but she certainly has a juicy man-eating role in this movie. Taylor Holmes has a very memorable role in "Nightmare Alley" (1947) as "Ezra Grindle", a man taken in by the spiritualist played by Tyrone Power.

Meanwhile, there's a lot about this movie that's so very, very much American. I was 9 years old when this movie was made. America looked different. People looked different. People carried on differently. The spirit was different. How people got along was different. The language and clothes were different. The styles were different. The myths in the movies were different. The moment that a bus draws up, we are in a different world. All of this resonates with me and adds a huge amount of atmosphere that might easily be taken for granted by an American audience. This 1950s atmosphere comes naturally to a movie made in 1950. This is not a nostalgic look back as we might see in "The Last Picture Show" (1971).

What do we see in "Double Deal"? Revenge, greed, resentment, murder, the use of thugs to get one's way, sabotage, sex as a way to achieve one's goals, frank sexual attraction, gumption, a never say die spirit, small-town empire building, the drive for more, the drive for success and getting ahead (making it), technical expertise, contracts and leases, disputes over easements and rights-of-way, and crazed actions over the losses dealt out by the competitive economic system. People don't talk politics or religion or philosophy in this movie. Local matters count. They're not into the Big Picture or the Cold War. They're interested in their personal battles, needs and turf.

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