In Houston, a man working as an oil driller comes up with a scheme for stealing millions of dollars worth of oil from the fields. He insinuates himself with a local mobster in order to get ...
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In Houston, a man working as an oil driller comes up with a scheme for stealing millions of dollars worth of oil from the fields. He insinuates himself with a local mobster in order to get financing for his scheme. Written by
The filmmaker spent an inexplicably and inordinate amount of footage in the terminal of what is now William P. Hobby AIrport, whose name was changed in 1967 to honor a Texas governor. It was then Houston International Airport as of 1954, when the new passenger terminal opened. The art-deco interior may have appeared aesthetically pleasing enough to have factored into the editing. The terminal even had a nursery, something one would be hard pressed to find at many airports these days. See more »
Gene Barry works in the Texas oil fields but he's got other plans... He's come up with a plan to steal oil from the fields and sell it on the grey market. To get the plan financed, he identifies a jane doe suicide as the former name of torch singer Barbara Hale, who knows the local underground. Not wanting trouble, she gives in, and Barry meets up with local boss Edward Arnold and his #1 man, Paul Richards. They agree to the plan, and soon Barry is rolling in money. But Barry wants to climb higher in the organisation, while Arnold and Richards want to get rid of him.
Lee J. Cobb was originally planned to play the lead role, but I really can't imagine him in this role. Barry ('Naked Alibi') does a great job and also has nice chemistry with Hale ('The Clay Pigeon'), who is an almost unrecognizable platinum blonde femme fatale here. The rest of the cast are good, but it's Barry and Hale who excel here. Hale even pulls off a convincing 'Put The Blame On Mame', altho she's no Rita Hayworth.
A bit of a derivative story (and title), but who cares when it's executed this well. This was director William Castle's last noir ('Johnny Stool Pigeon', 'New Orleans Uncensored') and he keeps things interesting, aided by some nice cinematography by Henry Freulich ('Chicago Syndicate', 'The Miami Story'). I was more than pleasantly surprised by this late noir. Recommended! 8/10
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