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World for Ransom (1954)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir  |  31 January 1954 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 233 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 19 critic

Made by the same production set-up on the same lot that was producing the 1953-54 "China Smith/Captain China" TV series that starred Dan Duryea as soldier-of-fortune China Smith, using many... See full summary »




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Complete credited cast:
Mike Callahan / Corrigan
Alexis Pederas
Julian March
Maj. Ian Bone
Gov. Sir Charles Coutts
Marian Carr ...
Frennessey March
Arthur Shields ...
Sean O'Connor
Insp. McCollum
Carmen D'Antonio ...
Clarence Lung ...
Johnny Chan
Lou Nova ...


Made by the same production set-up on the same lot that was producing the 1953-54 "China Smith/Captain China" TV series that starred Dan Duryea as soldier-of-fortune China Smith, using many of the same players that were regulars on the TV series, including Douglass Dumbrille, as head of the British Intelligence, and the same "Singapore", British Colony colonials and China sets used on the series. In this instance, they had the good grace to actually make a "new" film rather than just paste two of the TV episodes together and sending it out as a "new" movie as many of the TV production companies were doing at the time, i.e., the producers of the "Ramar of the Jungle" and Guy Madison's "Wild Bill Hickok" series. And changed the role names of Duryea and Dumbrille, but the Duryea character is still "China Smith." And hired a good director. This time out China Smith...uh.....Mike Callahan (Dan Duryea), because of his friendship with Julian March (Patric Knowles),becomes involved with a ... Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

singapore | See All (1) »


Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

31 January 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alerte à Singapour  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shot in 11 days. See more »


When Callahan is in Frennessey March's dressing room, he states he shipped out of Singapore during the war. The Japanese captured Singapore and occupied the city from February 15, 1942 to August 15, 1945. The three ships sent to defend Singapore were either sunk or ran aground. Callahan could not have embarked on an Allied ship as Singapore was thousands of miles behind enemy lines at the time. See more »

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User Reviews

Very cheap but not without its pleasures
30 June 2008 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Robert Aldrich's 1954 quickie World for Ransom is far from essential viewing, but if you do find yourself in the same room when it's on TV, chances are you'll find yourself sticking with it despite its faults. A cheap studio backlot picture until the finale when the film actually goes outdoors (though not as far as Singapore), it doesn't always make a virtue of its economy and a couple of the bit players are strikingly dreadful actors but within its claustrophobic sets it does throw in a few memorable visuals and it's satisfyingly undemanding supporting feature fare. Offering a rare lead for Dan Duryea as a soldier of fortune in the far East suspected of involvement in the kidnap of a nuclear scientist, the in-jokes around his 50s China Smith TV show are all but incomprehensible today and the banter isn't as witty as the writers think (and the cast know it and play on the fact), yet that lends it a strangeness that makes it stand out from other 50s poverty row pictures. While Marion Carr is more than a tad awkward as the not-so-fatale femme, the supporting cast isn't without merit, with veterans Nigel Bruce, Gene Lockhart, Reginald Denny, Douglas Dumbrille and Arthur "cheaper than Barry Fitzgerald" Shields adding a few familiar faces while the most interesting performance comes from Patric Knowles: not because he's giving an outstanding display of great acting but because, to all intents and purposes, he's imitating his old Adventures of Robin Hood star Errol Flynn, and doing so rather well as an ex-British officer who has gone down in the world and is keeping very bad company. It's utterly disposable stuff, yet strangely watchable with it.

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