Nick Cochran, an American in exile in Macao, has a chance to restore his name by helping capture an international crime lord. Undercover, can he mislead the bad guys and still woo the handsome singer/petty crook, Julie Benson?
Josef von Sternberg,
Sam Hurley, "Nation's No. 1 killer" with a cold contempt for "heroes," escapes prison with two companions and takes a mixed bag of hostages to Nevada ghost town Lost Hope City. He knows ... See full summary »
Investment broker Lloyd Rollins, insisting to his wife Linda that they stop at Las Vegas on their trip from Boston, begins to gamble heavily. Linda visits the Last Chance, a casino where she used to sing, and where she meets police lieutenant Dave Andrews, with whom she had a brief affair some years earlier. Insurance investigator Tom Hubler soon arrives to keep an eye on Linda's valuable necklace for his company, unaware that Rollins hocked the necklace with Clayton, owner of the Last Chance. Lt. Andrews, rebuffed by Linda, learns that Clayton has been murdered. He deduces the killer's identity and begins a deadly chase when he learns the killer has taken Linda hostage and fled into the desert. Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
Screenwriter Paul Jarrico had his name taken off the movie credits by RKO studio boss Howard Hughes because Jarrico was subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee, investigating Communist activities in Hollywood. See more »
When Linda goes to see the Last Chance, where she used to sing, she starts out riding in one cab and then is shown arriving in a different cab. Note the first has the word "Plymouth" above the grill and no number above the windshield. See more »
I guess it would be only fair if you were to kiss Bill.
If I kissed Bill there wouldn't be anything fair about it.
See more »
Tepid love story except for the exciting chase climax. Seems Mature and Russell had a marriage-bound romance in Las Vegas before they were separated by the war. Now Russell's visiting Vegas with her wheeler-dealer husband Price. Meanwhile, Mature has become a lieutenant on the Vegas police force. So what's going to happen when the former lovers meet as they must, especially when a valuable necklace disappears and a casino murder complicate things.
The movie promotes Vegas's strip at a time when the town was emerging as a gambling-vacation center. The following year, 1953, Sinatra would reinvent his career by connecting the Nevada town with glamorous Hollywood entertainers. And the rest, as they say, is history. Anyway, I expect this flick was one of the first to bring the strip to small town America.
And who better to draw in movie audiences than two of Hollywood's most physical specimens, the broad-shouldered Mature and the buxom Russell, though her attributes are downplayed here. At the time, Mature was an established star, while Russell's career was beginning to take off, especially with the following year's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953).
I doubt, however, that this rather bland narrative advanced either career. Coming from Howard Hughes' RKO and his well-known fascination with Vegas, I imagine contract player Russell had little choice. Anyway, the wryly entertaining Hoagy Carmichael injects some atmosphere, along with a slicked up Robert Wilke in a departure from his usual thuggish roles. Too bad, however, that we don't see more of the great Vincent Price who injects both spirit and style into the proceedings. Nonetheless, catch that swooping copter chase that I'm sure thrilled audiences of the time and still does.
All in all, it looks like the movie was built around Hughes's sharp eye for Vegas's emerging glitz. At the same time, the two leads furnish audience come-ons. Too bad the story itself comes across more like a pedestrian after-thought.
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