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Robert Ryan and Brian Keith, vastly under-rated actors, take a B-potboiler and make it appear to actually be something more. Matt Baker, a ne'er-do-well adventurer, gets out of jail and skips/sails away on his boat without paying for the storage and repairs. Back in his hometown, he is hired by his old friend Jim Kimmerly, head of the Salmon fishermen who have formed a canning cooperative, and are battling against an organized gang that rob the fishing traps regularly. Matt gets into a jam and needs money, so he joins the raiders, although his friend Jim, unaware of his duplicity, keeps covering for him among the other fishermen. The two men are also vying for the favors of Nicky. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Robert Ryan, Jan Sterling, Gene Barry, Brian Keith and Tim Carey headline this 1954 remake of the 1938 "Spawn of the North". The earlier film starred Henry Fonda, George Raft, Dorothy Lamour and John Barrymore. The film is set in Alaska during the 1920's.
The locals make their cash by catching as much salmon as they can. Soon stocks start to go down and the government steps in to limit the catch. Some play along but others resort to other methods of getting their limit. They go out at night and steal from the fish traps of others.
Ryan is an anything for a buck fisherman who soon gets in deep with crooked cannery owner Gene Barry. Barry buys any and all fish no matter where it comes from.
Brian Keith is the leader of the honest fishermen who just want to earn a living. Ryan and Keith were buddies at one time till Jan Sterling came between them. Soon the war between the factions heats up and there are several murders. Ryan soon comes to the conclusion he has backed the wrong horse and decides to redeem himself. He does this by taking Barry on a death ride into some icebergs. The rest of the bad guys are rounded up and Keith and Sterling become a couple.
Watchable 50's style action film with plenty of noir types peppered throughout. Anything with Robert Ryan and Tim Carey is worth a look for noir fans.
The director was Jerry (Secret of the Incas) Hopper. His other work includes, THE ATOMIC CITY, NAKED ALIBI and THE SQUARE JUNGLE. The d of p was four time nominated and two time Oscar winner, William Mellor. His work includes, WAKE ISLAND, TOO LATE FOR TEARS, A PLACE IN THE SUN, THE UNKNOWN MAN, WESTWARD THE WOMEN, THE NAKED SPUR, BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK, DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, ONE FOOT IN HELL and GIANT.
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