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Arson for Hire (1959)

 -  Crime | Romance  -  1 March 1959 (USA)
3.5
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Ratings: 3.5/10 from 6 users  
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Johnny Broderick, arson squad investigator, and his assistant, Ben Howard,, investigate a warehouse fire and find evidence of arson. Lawyer William Yarbo is behind the series of incendiary ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Thor Brooks)

Writer:

(original screenplay)
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Title: Arson for Hire (1959)

Arson for Hire (1959) on IMDb 3.5/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Brodie ...
Arson Squad Insp. John 'Johnny' Broderick
Lyn Thomas ...
Keely Harris
Tom Hubbard ...
Ben Howard, Broderick's Assistant
Jason Johnson ...
William Yarbo
Frank J. Scannell ...
Pop Bergen (as Frank Scanell)
Wendy Wilde ...
Marilyn 'Marilee' Bergen
John Frederick ...
Clete, the Photographer (as John Merrick)
Corinne Cole ...
Cindy, the Secretary (as Lari Laine)
Antony Carbone ...
Foxy Gilbert
Lyn Osborn ...
Jim, the Fireman
Robert Riordan ...
Fire Chief Boswell
Walter Reed ...
Chief Hollister
Reed Howes ...
Barney, the Bartender
Lester Dorr ...
Cab Dispatcher
Frank Richards ...
Man Making Phone Calls
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Storyline

Johnny Broderick, arson squad investigator, and his assistant, Ben Howard,, investigate a warehouse fire and find evidence of arson. Lawyer William Yarbo is behind the series of incendiary fires that have been plaguing the city. Keely Hariss, an actress, inherited the warehouse from her father. Yabro calls on her and says that he and her father had heavily insured the building and planned to burn it and collect, and also tells her she must accept half of the insurance money or he will see that she is blamed for the arson. "Pop" Bergen, the father of Marily Bergen, is the torch man hired by Yarbo, and he perishes in one of the conflagrations. Yarbo learns that Keely is cooperating with Broderick and he enters the movie studio where she is working, determined to kill her. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Racketeers of Torch and Terror! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

1 March 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Incendi├írios ├ás Soltas  »

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Trivia

In one shot set in a lumber yard, the Tabanga seen in From Hell It Came (1957) is visible in the background. Both movies were shot on what was then the Allied Artists lot in Hollywood (now the studios of KCET); apparently the suit was just stored there, so the "Arson for Hire" crew included it. See more »

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Features From Hell It Came (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Low Rent Policer
11 April 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is a bottom dweller B from Allied Artists.

Steve Brodie as a detective on a big city Arson Squad. There has been a string of warehouse blazes around the city that seem to be the work of the same firebug. Brodie and his partner, Tom Hubbard, are being pressured from above to solve the case or else.

The fires have been the work of small time crook, Frank J Scannell. Scannell is being blackmailed by his shyster lawyer, who is played by Jason Johnson. Johnson is threatening to harm Scannell's young daughter if he does not play along.

Johnson has been arranging the fires in order to muscle in on the insurance payoffs. Before every fire he sets up phony evidence that points to the building owner as the torch. Pay Johnson 50% of the insurance or the evidence goes to the cops. The owners pay.

That is till recent fire victim Lyn Thomas refuses to knuckle under to the scam. She tells Brodie about the racket and the chase is on.

However, when they find Scannell, he is dead and rather useless as an info source. Brodie decides he needs to speak to Thomas again. Thomas, who also just happens to be an actress at Allied Artist studio agrees to speak to Brodie at the studio.

At the same time, lawyer Johnson, gets a call from what seems to be an inside man on the Fire Department. The call fills Johnson in with all the info on Brodie's case.

Johnson grabs a gun and heads for the studio to put an end to Thomas' loose lips. He finds Brodie and Thomas on an empty set and starts blasting. Lucky for the pair, Johnson is no Sgt.York. Brodie returns fire and wounds Johnson who is then hauled off to the hospital.

While Brodie waits for Johnson to get well enough to 3rd degree him, Brodie's partner, Tom Hubbard, sneaks into the hospital and applies a pillow to Johnson's face.

We now know that Hubbard was the big wheel in charge of the whole arson ring. Hubbard was annoyed that Brodie had been promoted over him. The fires were a way to make Brodie look bad. And it did not hurt that his end of the insurance loot was making for a nice retirement nest-egg.

Hubbard has one lose end to clear up. He visits Thomas at her apartment where he gives her a bash on the head and lights the place on fire.

Brodie in the meantime has been going through the torch, Scannell's papers. He finds evidence that names Hubbard as Johnson's boss. In the car and back to Thomas' apartment he races.

Needless to say, the apartment building is gloriously in flames. He grabs some fire gear from the just arrived Fire Department and rushes in. He finds the unconscious Thomas and grabs her up.

Just then, Hubbard steps out of the smoke and points a revolver at Brodie. He tells Brodie. " I can't let you two out alive." Needless to say, the mandatory grab for the gun followed by a brisk fist-fist occurs. Brodie gets the upper hand and drags all three from the blaze. Case solved! Not a world-beater by any means. At 64 mins though, it filled the time well enough.

The film manages to fit quite a few leggy females in, including, May 1958 Playboy Bunny, Lari Laine.

Brodie had roles in, THE CRIMSON CANARY, CRIMINAL COURT, DESPERATE, CROSSFIRE, OUT OF THE PAST, THE BODYGUARD, ARMORED CAR ROBBERY, KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE, WINCHESTER 73, THE CRUEL TOWER.

Lyn Thomas had bits in the ACCUSED and WITNESS TO MURDER.

Scannell seems to be in every other noir I see. His work includes, VOICE OF THE WHISTLER, POWER OF THE WHISTLER, SUSPENSE, NIGHTMARE ALLEY, SCREAMING MIMI, THE UNKNOWN MAN, THE HUNTED, RACE STREET, ACT OF VIOLENCE, FLAMINGO ROAD, ARMORED CAR ROBBERY, THE WELL, K.C.C. 99 RIVER STREET. THE WICKED WOMAN, THE SQUARE JUNGLE and THE TATTERED DRESS.

The screenplay was by Tom Hubbard. The d of P was William Margulies. His work includes, CRIME AGAINST JOE and HOT CARS. Director Thor Brooks worked mainly as an editor in television, COWBOY G MEN etc. (b/w)


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