6.3/10
232
9 user 9 critic

Hell's Half Acre (1954)

Approved | | Action, Film-Noir, Mystery | 1 June 1954 (USA)
A woman who believes her missing husband is in prison in Hawaii on a murder charge travels there to see if it actually is him. However, he escapes before she sees him, when he hears that ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

Reviews

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Dark City (1950)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Gamblers who "took" an out-of-town sucker in a crooked poker game feel shadowy vengeance closing in on them.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Charlton Heston, Lizabeth Scott, Viveca Lindfors
Cry Vengeance (1954)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Violent ex-cop Vic Barron comes to Ketchikan, Alaska seeking revenge on an old enemy.

Director: Mark Stevens
Stars: Mark Stevens, Martha Hyer, Skip Homeier
Union Station (1950)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A sharp-eyed woman spots a man with a gun on a train and her alert to the railroad police lead to the kidnapping of a blind heiress by a ruthless thug.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: William Holden, Nancy Olson, Barry Fitzgerald
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When 2 detectives steal $80,000 from a dead robber, one of them suffers from a guilty conscience which could lead to murder.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Ida Lupino, Steve Cochran, Howard Duff
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Frank Johnson flees police after becoming an eyewitness to murder. He is pursued around scenic San Francisco by his wife, a reporter, the police, and... the real murderer.

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Ann Sheridan, Dennis O'Keefe, Robert Keith
Impact (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A unfaithful wife plots with her lover to kill her husband, but the lover is accidentally killed instead. The husband stays in hiding, and lets his wife be charged with conspiracy.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Brian Donlevy, Ella Raines, Charles Coburn
The Blue Lamp (1950)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The daily routine of two London policemen is interrupted by a killer.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Jack Warner, Dirk Bogarde, Jimmy Hanley
Drama | Film-Noir | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman's sanity comes into question, after she claims to have witnessed a murder from her apartment window.

Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, George Sanders, Gary Merrill
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Bachelor Harry Quincey, head designer in a small-town cloth factory, lives with his selfish sisters, glamorous hypochondriac Lettie and querulous widow Hester. His developing relationship ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: George Sanders, Ella Raines, Geraldine Fitzgerald
The Big Combo (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Richard Conte, Jean Wallace, Cornel Wilde
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Jerry McKibbon is a tough, no nonsense reporter, mentoring special prosecutor John Conroy in routing out corrupt officials in the city, which may even include Conroy's own police detective father as a suspect.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: William Holden, Edmond O'Brien, Alexis Smith
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Helen Ferguson, pregnant, penniless and dumped by her boyfriend Steve Morley, takes the identity of the pregnant Patrice Harkness, when she and her husband are killed in a train crash. The ... See full summary »

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, John Lund, Jane Cowl
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Chet Chester
...
Donna Williams
...
Lida O'Reilly
...
Rose
...
Sally Lee
Leonard Strong ...
Ippy
...
Tubby Otis
Philip Ahn ...
Roger Kong
Robert Shield ...
Frank
Clair Widenaar ...
Jamison
Robert Costa ...
'Slim' Novak
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Chief Dan
Edit

Storyline

A woman who believes her missing husband is in prison in Hawaii on a murder charge travels there to see if it actually is him. However, he escapes before she sees him, when he hears that his current girlfriend has been murdered. The wife searches the slum area of Honolulu known as Hell's Half Acre for him, he searches for his girlfriend's killer, and his gangland associates are looking for the two of them. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

CITY OF SIN . . . toughest spot in the Pacific!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 June 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les bas-fonds d'Hawaï  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Polynesian Rhapsody
Written by Jack Pitman (as Jack Pittman)
Sung by The Kaumakapili Choir
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Offbeat and overlooked film noir set in Hawaiian Territory
8 February 2004 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Hell's Half Acre (habitués just call it `the Acre') is a rabbit warren of tenements and dens of iniquity in post-war Honolulu – a South-Seas casbah. It's also the title of John H. Auer's movie which has the distinction – between the lapse of the Charlie Chan cycle and the arrival of TV dramas like Hawaii 5-0 and Magnum P.I. – of being the only film noir set in the (then) Hawaiian Territory. A little clumsy and four-square (with little of visual interest), it boasts an offbeat story line and a dandy cast.

Stateside, widowed young mother Evelyn Keyes hears a recording by a songwriter from the Islands who, she's told, has been imprisoned for killing a crime lord. Certain phrases in the song remind her of her husband, presumed lost on the Arizona during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She breaks off her engagement and flies to Honolulu; her guide to the local culture is cabdriver Elsa Lanchester, a `character.' Police Chief Keye Luke arranges for Keyes to see the mystery man (Wendell Corey), but when the prisoner learns that his current girlfriend (Nancy Gates) has been murdered, he escapes custody. Keyes penetrates deeper into the Acre to find him, while his underworld associates, their greed and curiosity piqued, try to find her....

All too briefly, Hell's Half Acre features Marie Windsor, as the wife of fish-and-poi slinger Jesse White (she's two-timing him with sinister Philip Ahn). The crummy rooms Windsor and White occupy in the Acre are one of three main locales, the others being Corey's Waikiki beach house and The Polynesian Paradise, the nightclub he owns (technical advisor to the film was Don The Beachcomber). There's an elevated quotient of violence, particularly violence to women, and the somewhat murky story isn't sweetened up (though touristy material sometimes intrudes). Auer never got a crack at first-rate material to direct (maybe he never showed he could do it), but Hell's Half Acre holds its own against his better-known The City That Never Sleeps. Like so many of the better noirs, its surprises emerge from out of the past.


31 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What is the document chief Dan tore at the end of the movie? Wonder-why
Discuss Hell's Half Acre (1954) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?