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Hell Bound (1957) More at IMDbPro »

Hell Bound -- His scheme: to steal war-surplus narcotic drugs from a ship in the Los Angeles harbor. However, he requires backers--which he seeks with a 16mm promotional film shown to gangsters. They agree. Bad decision.


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Richard H. Landau (screenplay)
Richard H. Landau (story) ...
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Release Date:
October 1957 (USA) See more »
The Hi-jack Caper that Scorched the Seven Seas!
After WW2, a Los Angeles crime ring uses a complex scheme, involving freight ships and corrupt health officers, to smuggle drugs into the USA. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
John Russell organizes a complex drug heist aboard a ship See more (5 total) »


  (in credits order)

John Russell ... Jordan
June Blair ... Paula

Stuart Whitman ... Eddie Mason
Margo Woode ... Jan
George E. Mather ... Stanley Thomas (as George Mather)

Stanley Adams ... Herbert Fay Jr.
Frank Fenton ... Harry Quantro
Gene O'Donnell ... Purser
Virginia De Lee ... Stripteaser
Dehl Berti ... Daddy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ann Daro ... Nurse (uncredited)
Edward DeRoo ... Squad Officer (uncredited)
Marge Evans ... Nurse (uncredited)
William Flaherty ... Purser - 16mm film (uncredited)
Jerry Frank ... Police Officer (uncredited)
Kay Garrett ... Quantro's Man (uncredited)
Richard Martin ... Dock Worker (uncredited)
George Mayon ... Quantro's Man (uncredited)
Frank McGrath ... Detective (uncredited)
Boyd 'Red' Morgan ... Quantro's Man (uncredited)
Scott Peters ... Aide (uncredited)
Dick Standish ... Accomplice A&B - 16mm film) (uncredited)
Robert Strong ... Quantro's Man (uncredited)
Larry Thor ... Doctor (uncredited)
Sammee Tong ... Murdered Seaman (uncredited)
Charles Webster ... Ship Captain (uncredited)
George Whiteman ... Ship Captain--16mm film (uncredited)

Harry Wilson ... Seaman (uncredited)

Directed by
William J. Hole Jr. 
Writing credits
Richard H. Landau (screenplay) (as Richard Landau)

Richard H. Landau (story) (as Richard Landau) and
Arthur E. Orloff (story) (as Arthur Orloff)

Produced by
Howard W. Koch .... producer
Aubrey Schenck .... executive producer
Original Music by
Les Baxter 
Cinematography by
Carl E. Guthrie 
Film Editing by
John A. Bushelman 
Production Design by
Jack T. Collis 
Makeup Department
Terry Miles .... makeup artist
Mary Westmoreland .... hair stylist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Paul Wurtzel .... assistant director
Art Department
Arden Cripe .... prop master
Sound Department
Charles Cooper .... rerecording
Frank Webster .... sound mixer
Special Effects by
Louis DeWitt .... special effects
Jack Rabin .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Herschel Brown .... key grip
William T. Cline .... camera operator
Robert R. Farmer .... lighting technician
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Angela Alexander .... wardrobe
Wesley Jeffries .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
John F. Schreyer .... supervising editor
Other crew
Howard Hohler .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
69 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
USA:Approved (certificate #18609)

Did You Know?

Feature film directorial debut of actor William J. Hole, Jr.See more »


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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
John Russell organizes a complex drug heist aboard a ship, 28 August 2012
Author: msroz from United States

Good little late film noir that reminds me of Kubrick's The Killing. They have in common a heist that goes wrong. The Asphalt Jungle and La citta di defende (Four Ways Out) have the same basic framework too, but the details vary a great deal in each case and they are what make it interesting.

The film begins with a film showing how the theft of drugs is supposed to occur. It requires four people, including a health officer, a nurse, a man posing as a seaman found adrift, and a snitch aboard the target vessel. It's John Russell's idea and he has worked tirelessly to make it work. To align the real people to accomplish this, he uses everything from brute force to money. The actual people involved have a few weaknesses that surface, but he plows on. His financier makes him replace the nurse with his own girl friend, played by attractive June Blair (a Playboy playmate that year). She's hardboiled at first, but starts to change when she meets Stuart Whitman, who is a doctor working the ambulance, and when she sees a boy die. Russell moves from person to person, pulling strings, since he will not be present at the actual heist and he does bump off the snitch after getting the information and key that he needs.

There's some nice cinematography by veteran Carl Guthrie and a tight script. Stanley Adams provides nervous and unbalanced support as the health officer. Ms. Blair's acting is very good for not having been in movies but one year and for having a substantial role. The only negative and then only at times was Les Baxter's music which seems not to have aged that well. It sounds too much like a TV show in places, but maybe that's because the TV scores imitated his work. Russell was a big athletic guy with a good voice. He was a good actor whose work I always like. He's been in some excellent films like Yellow Sky, Hoodlum Empire, and Man in the Saddle. He was not type cast. He could be in westerns like Pale Rider and The Outlaw Josey Wales or in contemporary TV series episodes.

June Blair is very sexy simply by being very feminine. The camera need only show her feet dropping off her shoes or her hair or her fingers to underscore this, but it also shows her in a negligee. There's another pretty lady in the movie named Virginia De Lee who does a strip tease of which we see parts, enough to get the idea. A 50s movie strip tease does not show much, but it still works. This was her only film credit. I'm unsure who the real nurse was, maybe Margo Woode. She wore glasses to tone down her good looks.

The very last sequence, after a well-filmed robbery sequence inside the ship, is really good. It takes place in a kind of junk yard with all kinds of metal being picked up and piles of scrap metal. It begins with an unusual wall of old abandoned trolley cars piled up three high. This is or was in LA.

After having written all this, I've decided to up my rating from 6 to 7.

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