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In San Francisco, two police inspectors are on the case when a rogue taxi driver, with the help of a rogue porter, manages to steal the suitcase of an antiques collector before running down a cop, whose dying gesture is to shoot the cabbie dead. The inspectors discover that a statuette in the suitcase contains heroin. Meanwhile, a psychopathic gangster, his malignant mentor and their dipsomaniac driver have the job of picking up the other heroin shipments, hidden in the luggage of unsuspecting travelers. All goes well until they attempt to retrieve the heroin stuffed in a Japanese doll. A little girl and her lovely young mother have the doll, but when the crooks take possession of it, they find that the heroin has mysteriously vanished. Written by
The Sanders home, is actually the Whittier Mansion, 2090 Jackson Street, a well known San Francisco historical landmark. In the script the address is converted to 9020 Jackson, a non-existent address since Jackson Street does not extend beyond the end of the 3800 block. See more »
The dark colored (black) 1957 Dodge sedan used by the police changes back and forth between the high end Custom Royal model and the low end Coronet model. See more »
Well, it's unfortunate we have to meet under these awful circumstances, I know.
Insp. Al Quine:
We meet a lot of people under unfortunate circumstances, Mr. Dressler.
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I only saw this violent little thriller once, about 1977. Robert Keith and Eli Wallach are a pair of gangsters who have to pick up some narcotics that have been sneaked into the country. It is inside a doll. Keith, an old hand at criminal activity and violence, is the control man who keeps reassuring the volatile Wallach that if they get through the various delays and problems along the way, the mission will be accomplished and "It will all be over by" the hour when they leave town.
Of course nothing is easy, especially as Wallach's "Dancer" is such a sensitive, over-ready killing machine. Soon the number of unnecessary murders accumulate (a butler, a blackmailing hood). Also, the dangers of being a courier increase - the drugs are not all found, and Dancer decides to try to explain this to the wrong party. His typical reaction to the wrong party's reaction leads to the violence of the film's conclusion.
This was one of Don Siegel's first thrillers, and may be the leanest in terms of plotting. It is tightly filmed and remarkably effective, especially in the way the violence breeds more violence until it engulfs the last moments of the movie. It is not the squeamish, although not as bloody as other films, but it is for film noir fans.
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