This low-budget Asian-set adventure concerns The reformed smuggler Stuart Allison finds his missing wife Marion in Hong Kong. Marion has fallen in with a bad crowd and is involved with ... See full summary »

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Stuart Allison
Carol Ohmart ...
Marion Allison
Richard Loo
Tamar Benamy ...
Marissa
John Wallace ...
Taggert
Eddie Infante
Mario Barri ...
(as Mario Bari)
Joe Sison
Bruno Punzalan
Renato Robles
Efren Reyes ...
Puan
Vic Diaz ...
Casimir O'Hara
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This low-budget Asian-set adventure concerns The reformed smuggler Stuart Allison finds his missing wife Marion in Hong Kong. Marion has fallen in with a bad crowd and is involved with narcotics and stolen government bonds, requiring Stuart to extricate her from her woes. Written by Robert

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independent film | See All (1) »

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Adventure | Crime | Drama

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October 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Epi ta ihni trion ekatommyrion dollarion  »

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1.37 : 1
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A clunky movie with some interesting East China locals and night shooting
14 May 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Scavengers (1959)

John Cromwell by this point in his career (one film from the end) had pulled off a few rather amazing movies, like "Caged" just a couple years earlier, "Dead Reckoning" before that, and an earlier 1930s solid version of the Maugham drama "Of Human Bondage." In other words, this guy had credentials.

But this is something below a B-movie (it's not even one of the big B-movie companies like Republic), filmed in Hong Kong and the Philippines. The leading man is a severe, handsome fellow who never made it out of B-movies, Vince Edwards, who I just happened to see in a more interesting low budget flick last week ("Murder by Contract"). He looks really brilliant next to the supporting cast of a stiff hyper blonde femme fatale (Carole Ohmart), a round faced Peter Lorre wannabe, and various cops and hoodlums with turbans, scars, and big old Mercedes sedans.

Recommended? Just for the desperate, or for those who want glimpses of Asia at the time. The filming is rather nice, though nothing remarkable. The sound is uneven, and the secondary female has her voice dubbed, and badly. One reviewer shows some interest in Ohmart the actress, but I found her the biggest flaw in the casting--a bad actress is a bad actress. More classically pretty and convincing (if more ordinary) is the secondary woman, Tamar Benamy, who isn't given much to do but who does it well. This is her one and only film role, which counts for something, doesn't it? Not that these things matter much in a movie like this.

If you look closely at the IMDb credits you'll see that the film was banned in Finland (which at the time was under the sway of the Soviet Union, an unofficial member of the Communist Bloc). So maybe there is some hoary pro-Western handling of the rise of Communism in China and the smuggling out of money to Macao and Honk Kong, though this is barely hinted at politically. More possibly there were problems because of the leading woman's open drug use (she's a heroin addict). None of this is enough to make the movie really interesting, though both elements could have been pumped up.

Mostly this is a poorly written story, and both the plot and the specific dialog is weak.

For one example of the wobbly writing, the femme fatale is on the phone and says, "I can't meet you! It's out of the question." Then the next thing she says is, "All right. Three o'clock." And then when they meet they talk. In fact, the movie has lots of talking, either to explain ridiculous plot about some missing bonds or to have our leading couple wrestle with their relationship, which is utterly fake and improbable. There are some moments of action, some shooting, but even here it's filled with improbability, and you need some sense of believing some things to swallow the rest.

The final speech is pretty interesting, and you can see the germ of a great idea at the bottom of all this, a man in love with a woman who had two sides to her, and the wrong side ruled her life even as the "good" side persisted all along, sadly, inside. Then the very last scene? It's about good old American honesty, and true love winning. But not like you think.


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