The theft of a jeweled treasure is within an adventurer's grasp; he is restrained by his love for a good woman. Now he must help her and the kid he was hired to rob escape as the Chinese Civil War nears Hong Kong.
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Roguish, Indiana Jones-like, fedora and leather jacket-wearing American adventurer and black marketeer Jeff Williams is hired to steal a priceless, jewel-encrusted, gold statue of Buddha, the only possession of a small, recently orphaned, Chinese boy called Wei Lin, who arrived in Honk Kong with a group of refugees escaping the Chinese civil war that Mao's Communists are winning. Jeff cold-heartedly does his job only to end up being stuck with the kid, who sees him as a surrogate father and refuses to let go of him. When Jeff meets a pretty school teacher and daughter of a missionary, Julie McQuade, his tough shell begins to break as he grows fond of both her and the kid and realizes he must help them escape the city while there's still time. However, his non-sentimental employees double cross him and Jeff must use all his skills and wits to survive this adventure.
Still with Warner Brothers, Ronald Reagan was now allowed to make outside films and he signed with Paramount again to do Hong Kong with their B picture unit headed by William Pine and William Thomas. He had done his first outside picture and his first western with these two guys and liked the experience. And he no doubt liked his leading lady Rhonda Fleming as they did well on screen together and their politics were completely in sync. He did four films with Fleming all told.
This one as the title says takes place in Hong Kong as Reagan and Fleming and a bunch of refugees arrive there fleeing from the new Communist government. Reagan is your basic soldier of fortune who saw his war surplus selling business go belly up with the new rulers in China. Fleming is the daughter of a missionary. Among others they have in tow is little Danny Chang a young orphan who has a gold statue encrusted with some jewels of a Buddha. The kind of statue that would make Sydney Greenstreet envious.
Reagan figures to make some good money selling this item and his Sydney Greenstreet turns out to be Marvin Miller. And Miller is a ruthless as Caspar Guttman in obtaining what he wants.
Reagan thinks he wants money, but he's tamed by the love of a good woman and an innocent child. Definitely something we've seen before.
Still this is a nice well made action picture in the Pine-Thomas tradition. Throughout the film Reagan sports a fedora that looks like something that might have inspired the creators of Indiana Jones and those films. It fits him and his character like the fedora on Harrison Ford's head.
Reagan would make one more film with Pine-Thomas and again it was with Rhonda Fleming. They made a good screen couple, too bad he didn't work with her over at Warner Brothers in his prime years.
His prime years as a player that is.
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