Reviews written by registered user
|3 reviews in total|
Not much of David Dodge's novel remains in this film version, other than the names of some of the characters and the basic plot. American insurance investigator Al Colby is hired to smuggle a package out of Havana and into Oaxaca, Mexico. When the man who hired him is murdered aboard ship, Colby decides to find out what he is carrying and why it is worth killing for. Unscrupulous antiquities dealers, disgraced archaeologists, and desperate women all clash in a search for buried Zapotecan treasure. Glenn Ford is serviceable as Al Colby, but the plot is murky, the characters are under-developed, and the location is inexplicably changed from Peru to Mexico. Although it is long out-of-print, copies of the book are still relatively easy to find (unlike prints of this film, which is still tied up in Wayne estate litigation), and reading the book is a much better use of one's time.
This movie should be required viewing for all librarians or would-be librarians. All of the best lines are directly related to librarianship. The public library vs. academic library argument is a classic argument waged among librarians and library school students. It also breaks many librarian stereotypes. Librarians might even be capable of having fun -- even if they don't *usually* have sex in the romance languages section! (The best movie about librarians? Desk Set, with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, of course.)
Now we know where Taco Bell got its idea for a talking chihuahua! During one of the overblown musical numbers by Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra, Cugat's chihuahua gets to look into the camera and speak his own lines -- in Spanish and English! Supposedly set in Mexico City, the film displays a marked lack of local color.