A fugitive negotiates a 5-year sentence for the theft of half-million dollar worth of bonds but takes a short trip before surrendering, while suspecting that a con-woman, a cop and a former crime-partner are after his hidden bonds.
Criminal Ace Connors agrees to return to New York and stand trial for stealing $500,000 worth of bonds so he can serve a light five-year sentence and enjoy his loot (safely stowed away in the cover of a cook book) when he gets out. Detective Bob Simms is tasked with escorting Connors back to New York. With five days for the cross-country trip, Connors plans for stops in Texas and New Orleans to have a few final days of fun before he goes to prison. Ricki Woodner, a con artist who met Connors at his hotel, is persuaded by Fly Feletti (a bitter colleague of Connors) to get close to Connors and take the bonds. She joins Connors and Simms on the train and Ricki and Ace start falling for each other. Feletti wants the bonds and keeps an eye on Ricki to make sure she doesn't double-cross him. After a romantic detour into Mexico, Ace, Ricki, and Simms head to New Orleans for the Mardi Gras celebration, with Feletti close behind.Written by
This film failed at the box office, resulting in a loss to MGM of $252,000 ($3.5M in 2018) according to studio records. See more »
When Ricki, Ace, and Bob walk into the little shop that rents them their costumes for Mardi Gras, they walk past an hourglass (that happens to be the same hourglass used in "The Wizard of Oz"). Although there was no one else in the room, and the proprietor came downstairs apologizing that he had been upstairs watching the Mardi Gras, the sand in the hourglass is all in the top half. See more »
How About You?
Music by Burton Lane
[An instrumental version of the song is playing in the background when Ace arrives at the restaurant for his meeting with Dwight Chandwick] See more »
Signpost to noir
This obscure B-movie was Jules Dassin's last film before embarking on a series of classic noir and crime films--and actually it's the first of his crime films and shows his interest in developing the genre. As another critic reports in a previous post, this film is NOT a comedy (as Maltin's book describes it) about two con artists mixed up "in art forgery." Actually, it's a crime/road movie about stolen bonds, co-written by the creator of "The Saint." True, Lucille Ball co-stars, and she and John Hodiak meet cute in a TROUBLE IN PARADISE manner, blowing each other's cons with a mutual pigeon. But from the first shot, Dassin reveals his interest in crime
Like Dassin's forgettable comedy A LETTER FOR EVIE, this film is shot by the great Karl Freund, in decline from his silent heyday and not yet arrived at his groundbreaking I LOVE LUCY three-camera period. He gives us expressionist shots aplenty, and such privileged moments as a pan shot with window reflection from outside a train, a cactus-by-moonlight scene, and a chiaroscuro moment when Ball is menaced by Elisha Cook Jr lighting a match. The presence of Cook, Lloyd Nolan, and Hugo Haas (on their way to being entrenched noir icons) also counts for something. The road trip plot (on a train) allows stops in Mexico and New Orleans. The last third (set at Mardi Gras) is suspenseful and colorful, with Cook in fool's motley.
In conclusion, if this 1946 film doesn't hold up as well as Dassin's later, truer noirs, we can still see it's an early step in the development of that genre.
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