6.8/10
452
19 user 11 critic

Riffraff (1947)

Approved | | Adventure, Comedy, Drama | 15 September 1947 (USA)
A plane takes off from Peru (in a long no-dialogue scene) in a storm with two passengers; it lands in Panama with one. The missing man had valuable oil-location maps; everyone who is after ... See full summary »

Director:

Ted Tetzlaff

Writer:

Martin Rackin (original screen play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Pat O'Brien ... Dan Hammer
Walter Slezak ... Eric Molinar
Anne Jeffreys ... Maxine Manning
Percy Kilbride ... Pop
Jerome Cowan ... Walter F. Gredson
George Givot ... Police Lt. Rues
Jason Robards Sr. ... Domingues (as Jason Robards)
Marc Krah ... Charles Hasso
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Storyline

A plane takes off from Peru (in a long no-dialogue scene) in a storm with two passengers; it lands in Panama with one. The missing man had valuable oil-location maps; everyone who is after them must deal with Dan Hammer, combination private eye, agent, and con man, who can "fix" anything for a fee. Nightclub singer Maxine is on Dan's side... or is she? The rest is lighthearted, white-suited tropical intrigue. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

15 September 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Riff-Raff See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Not a remake of the 1936 MGM release of the same title. See more »

Quotes

Dan Hammer: Eavesdropping shows a lack of character.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL
(uncredited)
Written by Alex Kramer and Joan Whitney
Performed by Anne Jeffreys and backups
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Canal Capers
28 July 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Riffraff finds Pat O'Brien as Dan Hammer, hardboiled private eye, operating in the Canal Zone which when the USA was operating the Panama Canal had a kind of hybrid sovereignty between America and Panama. Of course other than an aerial shot at the beginning of the film, no one got closer to Panama than the backlot of RKO Studios.

I'm not sure if Mickey Spillane had already created his character of Mike Hammer, but O'Brien's portrayal sure could have been the model for it.

O'Brien is hired by someone to locate a missing map of some undiscovered South American oil fields. His client is later murdered and that starts the ball rolling.

A lot of the plot elements of Riffraff are found in that other private eye classic Murder, My Sweet and though Riffraff is entertaining, it doesn't hold a candle to that classic noir.

Anne Jeffreys does well as the singer/moll who actually proves to be quite a bit of help to him in that last encounter with the bad guys. Walter Slezak is as always one charming, but dangerous villain. Jerome Cowan does well as the feckless and luckless oil executive and the best performance in the supporting cast is that of Percy Kilbride as a laconic cabdriver.

In fact Percy's the one who gets the best of Slezak. You should see Riffraff just to see how he does it.


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