Patrick Martin (Joseph Cotten), known as P.M., is a wealthy attorney and rancher big-man-in-town in the border town of Nogales, Arizona. He returns home to find his brother Donald (Van ... See full summary »
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Joseph H. Lewis
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Patrick Martin (Joseph Cotten), known as P.M., is a wealthy attorney and rancher big-man-in-town in the border town of Nogales, Arizona. He returns home to find his brother Donald (Van Johnson)hiding in his garage. A former drunkard, Donald had been sent to the penitentiary five years previously for killing a man in a barroom brawl. It was in self-defense but P.M. hadn't defended his brother and he was convicted. Donald has escaped and wants his brother to help him across the Santa Cruz River into the Mexico-side Nogales, where his wife (Shirley Patterson as Shawn Smith)and children (Kim Charney and Sandy Deschler) are in dire straits. The straits get even dier when P.M. tells him the river is flooded and it will be days before anyone can cross. And P.M. is all a'twitter because his wife Nora (Ruth Roman), whom he married after Donald had gone to prison, doesn't know about his jail-bird brother. He introduces Donald to Nora and the rest of his Cadillac Cowboy and ranch society friends... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The chimes on the doorbell to Joseph Cotten (Pat Martin)'s house play "How Dry I Am". Quite fitting considering Van Johnson (Donald)'s drinking problem and the "lushy" household guests that tempt him. See more »
Pat 'P.M.' Martin:
I didn't mean to be that abrupt before. His name isn't Eric Bell, Nora. He's my brother Donald. I know I never told you I had a brother. I never told anyone.
Why? What did he do?
Pat 'P.M.' Martin:
It was some kind of brawl.
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How Dry I Am
Played by the doorbell at the Breckenridge house See more »
This one looks like it's almost lost in the mists of cinematic antiquity, since it doesn't appear to be available on video in a widescreen DVD. About the only place to catch it is on the FOX MOVIE CHANNEL, which occasionally hauls it out of the vaults for a letterboxed showing(e.g., currently during the month of June 2005).
Henry Hathaway was a particularly congenial director when it came to using the CinemaScope frame effectively and his cinematographer on this one, Lee Garmes, did some effectively moody work on the interiors and some first-class use of the exterior locations, as well, including what looked like a sequence that was difficult to shoot - at night in inclement weather on a river bank with floodwaters raging. Joseph Cotten, in a fairly unsympathetic role, led the cast, along with Ruth Roman as his wife. Also among the thespians were Jack Carson and Van Johnson, who was, not for the first time, quite convincing as a man whose addiction to alcohol was a primary focus of the fairly sardonic script by Sydney Boehm. One thing that sticks in my mind, so many years after seeing this film on a theater screen during its first release, is the fact that Peggy Knudsen, playing a rich married woman of the contemporary American southwest, is seen behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz 300SL "gullwing" roadster, one of the most desirable upscale cars of that era and an unimpeachable choice to display her character's privileged status.
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