A con man in debt and down on his luck comes up with what he thinks is the perfect caper--robbing a small-town bank that keeps a lot of money on hand because of the payroll of a nearby army... See full summary »
After the war, Matt Gordon returns to Singapore to retrieve a fortune in smuggled pearls. Arrived, he reminisces in flashback about his prewar fiancée, alluring Linda, and her disappearance... See full summary »
A man shows up at Kimberley Prescott's villa claiming to be her brother. But Ward Prescott died in a car accident a year ago, so how can this man be him? Despite Kim's protests that the ... See full summary »
The son of a Victorian hangman is driven insane by thoughts of his father's profession. The young man emulates his father by strangling young women. He then meets and falls in love with a ... See full summary »
British archaeologist David Redfern comes to Tunisia to catalog a collection of art relics and stumbles into evidence of a gun-smuggling racket. Hesitant at first to get involved or even to report the information, he becomes convinced he must do the right thing after a young man is murdered. By then, though, the smugglers know Redfern knows too much and they target him for death. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
A flock of seagulls are squawking around a body floating on the water's surface. A moment later another character has to dive to find the body weighted down well below the surface and not in any position to attract the birds. See more »
'To Zeus, from Apollodorus. Not by ignoring evil does one overcome it, but by going to meet it.'
The world has more evil than a dog fleas. We were given eyes, but for our comfort the wisdom of knowing when to shut them.
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With her little-girl voice and arched eyebrows, a 17-year old Anouk (Aimee) is a real attention-getter. Having her fall for the much older and plainer Trevor Howard, however, is something of a stretch. Nonetheless, it's a fascinating movie to look at even if the basic plot is unexceptional. Archaeologist Howard travels to north Africa to retrieve shipwrecked treasures that include a golden salamander. There he stumbles across a network of gun- smugglers and hooks up with the exotic Anna (Anouk) in a seedy, atmospheric café. Just who is and who isn't a part of the network generates some suspense.
But the movie's strength is in the acting and the photography. Howard is superb, as usual, while Anouk manages to be both emotionally vulnerable and surprisingly accomplished in her first big part. Special mention should go to Walter Rilla for his super slick version of a gangster kingpin. He looks and acts the sinister role to a proverbial T.
However, what I liked best is what the pro's call "mise-en-scene", ie. the placing of a scene. Someone in production had the great idea of filming on location, along the north African coast line. This results in a number of visually stunning compositions made all the more so by the subtle tonalities that only black& white photography can produce. Catch the romantic scene on the beach with the setting sun in deep-focus background. Color is simply too literal to capture this kind of poetic effect.
The dialogue is spiced up nicely with several exotic pearls of wisdom, but what about that escape scene by the cliff which seems pretty implausible-- how did Hyde-Whyte know a sheep flock would pass at exactly the right time. Or the climax, which seems a little too tame for my liking. Nonetheless, it's one of those movies that's stayed with me over the years for reasons I can't quite pin down. I guess it's something about the authentic crowds along the Arab bazaar or the sheer poetry of that coast line stretching into the distance and beyond. Yes indeed, there's a lot to be said for the old black & white.
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