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World for Ransom (1954)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 31 January 1954 (USA)
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
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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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
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Did You Know?


Shot in 11 days. See more »


When Callahan is in the March's apartment with Mrs. March, she claims he left her when they were in Shanghai. Earlier, the split supposedly occurred in Singapore when Callahan shipped out for the war. Shanghai seems even less likely than Singapore as Shanghai was occupied by he Japanese in 1937, nearly 4 years before Singapore fell. See more »

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User Reviews

early Robert Aldrich
13 June 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For some reason, the actors in this film, particularly Dan Duryea, found it necessary to speak as if they were in an amphitheater in "World for Ransom," a 1954 film directed by Robert Aldrich.

If I had to describe this film in one word, I'd say "loud."

Mike Callahan (Dan Duryea) is a good friend of Julian Marsh (Patric Knowles), and is also in love with Julian's wife Frennessy (Marian Carr), who met Julian while boyfriend Mike was away in the service.

Julian is up to something no good, and Mike promises Frennessy that he'll get him out of it and bring him home. Frennessy admits that she's unhappy with Julian, but that she won't be able to leave him and go off with Mike while he's in trouble.

Turns out Julian has involved himself with a man named Alex Pederas (Gene Lockhart), a bad guy, and is part of the kidnapping of a nuclear scientist, one of the three men in the world who know how to detonate the H bomb. They're planning on making some big money. Julian has made a mistake in driving a route where he is well known, and he's been photographed by a street photographer. So there's a panic to get the photo and the negative to cover his mistake.

Others on the board have said this is a template for "Kiss Me, Deadly" and that it also is reminiscent of "The Third Man." I see similar plot elements but that's about it. Comparing this to either film is a stretch.

A good start for Aldrich, who was still in his early career and uncredited for this film. I think he did the best he could given the material.

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