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.
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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
For some reason the Maltin book looks for laughs in this film. It is not a comedy. I guess some folks were expecting comedy because of the presence of Lucille Ball. In actuality she plays a con woman who is on the lam from the law in Arkansas. She meets up with John Hodiak, a con man who has struck a deal with New York police authorities and who is being transported back to New York by Lloyd Nolan, a good cop who has become friendly with Hodiak. Nolan agrees to indulge in a fun filled train trip back to New York, which ultimately includes stops in places such as New Orleans (at Mardi Gras time). Hodiak tricks Nolan into entering Mexico, where he intends to remain, outside US jurisdiction. But, Nolan comes up with a neat way to get Hodiak back to the US. Naturally, Ms. Ball just happens to be on the same train and is with the two men at all stops along the way. There's an attempt at a love story between Hodiak and Ball which is pretty lame. Another big mistake was the casting of Elisha Cook Jr. as a former partner of Hodiak's who had been double crossed. He is supposed to be a menacing figure throughout the train trip and during the Mardi Gras scenes in New Orleans. But, there is no way that Cook, with his wimpy look, could ever appear to be a menace, even when he has a gun pointed at someone and tries to talk tough. Nolan, by far, does the best job in this movie. He is believable as a very nice cop who stays one step ahead of Hodiak's plots. As I said before, this movie is not a comedy. Unfortunately, it is also not a particularly good film.
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