Writer Nick and his wife Emily are expecting their first child. When a necessary home repair proves too costly to afford, Nick must swallow his pride and visit his father, a proud immigrant... See full summary »
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.
Larry Gordon, well-known crime writer, is on a train journey when a scream is heard. Upon investigation, the guard had been mugged and a man murdered. Another man is arrested but the full story is yet to be discovered.
Michael "Beau" Geste leaves England in disgrace and joins the infamous French Foreign Legion. He is reunited with his two brothers in North Africa, where they face greater danger from their... See full summary »
Several murders of nuclear scientists, that baffles Scotland Yard, occur in London about the same time that Bill Locklin, a special officer from the United States State Department, arrives ... See full summary »
An American with a shady past joins with a morally-bankrupt Irishman to find treasure buried by Arabs in a deserted mosque in the Sahara. The situation becomes complicated when they are surrounded by bellicose Bedouin bandits.
Hollywood 1950: The successful producer Larry O'Brian arrives in Los Angeles to found a motion picture company. He buys an old studio which was unused since the days of silent movies. He's ... See full summary »
A San Francisco hood is rubbed out by rival Bruno Felkin, who himself reports the crime to Homicide Lieut. Kelsey in an alibi scheme which fails. To escape, he stows away on a fishing boat.... See full summary »
The Jews are taken from Jerusalem and made slaves by King Nebuchadnezzar. In the meantime Cyrus, king of the Persians, who has been living as a shepherd, is proclaimed king and defeats ... See full summary »
Conte stars in so-so thriller about journalistic ethics and a charity con
Richard Conte's 'journey down Twilight Avenue' (which presumably crosses Sunset Boulevard) begins with a couple of coincidences. (Or are they coincidences?) He's a human-interest columnist on a '7-cent newspaper' who's barely making ends meet. First an old chum (Bruce Bennett) from high-school days resurfaces after 10 years; he says he's inherited a million and now works as a charity fundraiser. Then Conte's told that, in repayment for an old favor, he'll receive anonymous tips from a source deep in the underworld. When he follows up his first lead, he finds a gambler just shot dead in front of his own home. But a story's a story, and Conte runs with it, incurring the displeasure of the police.
Meanwhile Bennett and his assistant? protegee? mistress? Constance Smith urge Conte to make use of their skills to benefit a cause dear to his heart.
And so the annual bazaar at a Catholic school rakes in oodles of dough despite the misgivings of skeptical nun Cathy Downs, who presses Conte on how much he really knows about Bennett and his organization questions that he shrugs off.
The next tip and consequent story (the slaying of a prominent gangster) land Conte a month in stir for refusing to reveal his source. But the notoriety gains his column a syndication deal. Now a household world, Conte emcees a late-night telethon organized by Bennett and Smith to raise big money for a new charity hospital. (We get to hear snatches of numbers by bandleaders Chuy Reyes and Spade Cooley.) It's a triumph, except that Bennett has already thrown Smith into the drink at his Malibu beach house (which looks curiously like an old motel) and framed Conte with some of the money skimmed off in a grift. Conte busts out of custody to seek redress....
There are promising elements the journalistic ethics, the phony charity racket in the story by Steve Fisher, either a writer of variable talents or a writer whose talents were variably served. (He wrote the novel on which both I Wake Up Screaming and Vicki were based, and the screenplays for several noirs, from the highs of Dead Reckoning, Lady in the Lake and Roadblock to the low of Las Vegas Shakedown before moving to television Peter Gunn and Cannon among many more.)
The Big Tip-Off is just so-so, compromised by limp direction, a frugal budget and merely passable performances by its two women (one of whom makes a recovery little short of a miracle). Its chief surprise is Bennett, a solid actor who endures the misfortune of being remembered mainly as Mr. Mildred Pierce.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?