Inferno (1953)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  21 July 1954 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 688 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 7 critic

A tough, hard-driving business tycoon suffers a broken leg and is left to die in the desert by his scheming wife and her greedy lover.


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Cast overview:
Donald Whitley Carson III
Geraldine Carson
William Lundigan ...
Joseph Duncan
Dave Emory
Sam Elby
Lt. Mike Platt
Robert Burton ...


20th Century-Fox put a lot of eggs in this 1953 film---3-D and stereophonic sound on prints for the few theatres equipped for that sound system in 1953, and the result was possibly the best 3-D film made during the craze. The basically-simple plot, in theory but more than that in execution, concerns a spoiled and alcoholic millionaire, Robert Ryan, who breaks his leg falling off of a horse, and is left to die in the desert by his cheating wife, Rhonda Fleming (born for Technicolor and 3-D), and her lover, William Lundigan. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The wonder of 3-D STEREOPHONIC SOUND See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 July 1954 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Verhängnisvolle Spuren  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,055,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When the cast and crew arrived at the Mojave Desert location it was covered in snow and Rhonda Fleming subsequently developed pneumonia. See more »


About 2.5 minutes into the movie, the lover changes from street shoes to boots, attempting to plant a false trail. He first changes his right shoe and then hands a second right shoe to the wife. See more »


Remade as Ordeal (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

Survival-in-wilderness thriller worth a look, even minus 3-D
21 December 2003 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

The best thing about Inferno is that, like the Aeneid, it jumps right into the middle of the action. Out in a southwestern desert, under the baking sun, lies Robert Ryan, with his leg broken and only a meager supply of food and water. He's been left to die by his wife (Rhonda Fleming) and her lover (William Lundigan). There's no backstory, no lead-up to the crucial events; what little we need to know gets doled out as the movie advances, but never in flashback.

Of course, anybody can be left to die in the desert by a philandering spouse, but it helps if you're a millionaire, like Ryan. We learn that he inherited his fortune and wonders whether he deserves it, and that he's a tough and private man who suffers no fools gladly (the part's basically a reworking of Ryan's Smith Ohlrig in Max Ophuls' Caught).

The rest of Inferno cross-cuts between Ryan's attempts to survive by his wits and Fleming's and Lundigan's to throw the local police and Ryan's business associates back in Los Angeles off track. After several days elapse, when it becomes apparent that Ryan may still be alive and on the move, Fleming and Lundigan decide that, in order to save themselves, they have to go back and finish the job....

Inferno was issued in 1953, the annus mirabilis of 3-D. Unlike most titles filmed in that short-lived gimmick, it stands pretty well on its own – even the hurtling rocks, striking rattlers and flaming rafters stay effective without knocking viewers over the head. But basically it's a story of a man born to wealth who, to stay alive, must negotiate a deadly wilderness where money proves worthless. Watching Ryan do so is worth giving Inferno a look.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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'Ordeal' a remake, almost LarryDeeBuchanan
Here's one place you can find the dvd ... TheHG
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Good in 3D sbere
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