During the Korean War, Matt saves the life of his buddy, Vince, who promises that someday he'll repay Matt by cutting him in on a million dollars. Eight years later Matt is in the midst of a rapidly disintegrating marriage to Nina, a man-hungry alcoholic. Vince suddenly reappears for a reunion with Matt, telling him that enemies of a Central American dictator have hijacked $3.5 million, and that he knows how he can get hold of the money and collect a large reward he'll share with Matt if he will help recover the money. Matt is skeptical, but after a particularly violent quarrel in which he leaves his wife, he agrees to go along with Vince, provided there is no gunplay. Written by
loner (Jeff Hunter) is drawn into a dark, dangerous game of intrigue.
There are a few distinctions to this film, one being that it is the only movie ever to have been directed by Edmond O'Brien, the 1940s leading man who, a decade later, put on a great deal of weight and turned into a top character actor, even winning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Once was enough as a director, though, for this crime thriller appears to be an imitation of the film noirs that O'Brien starred in (most notably, D.O.A.) earlier in his career, and that genre had all but disappeared from the screen by the early 1960s, only to be revived again toward the end of the century and at the beginning of the next, via neo-noir - which even included a disastrous remake of DOA with Dennis Quaid. But I digress . . . one of the other distinctions is the re-teaming of Jeffrey Hunter and David Janssen, who had worked together very well a year and a half earlier in a far better and more ambitious film, Hell to Eternity, a big scale WWII action flick. In between, Hunter had played the part of Jesus in King of Kings and, after that, he seemed desperate to do anything to try and distance himself from the image of purity he incarnated there. That included second rate 'programmers' (as studio B movies used to be called) in which, at the very least, he could remind audiences of the differing roles he was capable of playing. Hunter blew his last big chance for success, incidentally, when a few years later he listened to the lady in his life when she told him NOT to do Star Trek! Anyway, the third reason to take a look at this flick (don't go out of your way, mind you) is to catch Stella Stevens displaying her range of talents and reminding us that, in addition to a ditzy-glitzy blonde in comedy roles, she could do a femme fatale just fine. She may have third billing behind the boys, but this is her show all the way, and whenever she's on screen, sparks fly - as they do nowhere else in this minor movie.
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