6.7/10
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31 user 13 critic

The Bribe (1949)

Federal agent Rigby, in Central America to trace stolen plane engines, falls for the gorgeous wife of the chief suspect.

Directors:

Robert Z. Leonard, Vincente Minnelli (uncredited)

Writers:

Marguerite Roberts (screen play), Frederick Nebel (short story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Taylor ... Rigby
Ava Gardner ... Elizabeth Hintten
Charles Laughton ... J.J. Bealer
Vincent Price ... Carwood
John Hodiak ... Tug Hintten
Samuel S. Hinds ... Dr. Warren
John Hoyt ... Gibbs
Tito Renaldo Tito Renaldo ... Emilio Gomez
Martin Garralaga ... Pablo Gomez
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Storyline

In pursuit of stolen aircraft engines on a Central American island, federal agent Rigby meets chief suspect Hintten and his wife Elizabeth, a sultry cafe singer; and is watched by Bealer, a "pie-shaped man" with sore feet. Rigby knows he's on the right track when Bealer offers him money to leave Carlota. When Rigby and Elizabeth are drawn to each other, the gang realizes there's more than one kind of bribe. Everybody sweats. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

5 Great Stars in a Daring Drama of Love and Adventure !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

25 August 1949 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bribe See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,984,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

MGM paid the author Frederick Nebel $10,000 (over $100,000 in 2017) for the rights to his story that appeared in the September, 1947 edition of Heart's International Cosmopolitan magazine. See more »

Quotes

Elizabeth Hintten: Your head!
Rigby: Yeah, it got caught in a broken promise.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Fiesta
(uncredited)
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Lyrics by William Katz
[Sung by extras in fiesta scenes]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Laughton Steals Film
17 January 2005 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

This was quite an enjoyable film experience. Robert Taylor plays a federal agent flying down South to look into a smuggling problem. Whilst in the tropical Carlita, Taylor begins to look into the suspects he has been briefed about: a married couple that work at a night club. Sultry seductress Ava Gardner and husband John Hodiak play the couple. Director Robert Z. Leonard does a fine job with atmosphere in this film noir classic of greed, retribution, and forbidden love. The settings reek with a kind of sleazy realism that you rarely see in films of this type. Leonard also shoots his scenes with an intensity and trust in his performers which is also refreshing. And why wouldn't he trust his performers? He has some of the best. Taylor gives the best performance I ever saw come out of him. He is actually believable in his role as a man torn with a love he should not have and a decision to make regarding his personal integrity. Gardner is also at her best giving a truly interesting portrayal as a woman also torn apart by like things. But the film really belongs to two "character" actors if you will. Screen legends Charles Laughton and Vincent Price, playing men with dubious natures, give great performances and bring this film up notches. Price is the real heavy and oozes suave, despicable charm. His climatic scene is one of the best film finales of all-time for my money. It is Charles Laughton; however, as a round bounder of sorts tressed in a grubby white suit with unkempt hair seeming to be always around when you don't want him that really steals the show. Laughton gives one of those performances that makes you glued to his every word and action. He utters his lines with careful execution and deliberate pauses. He takes the mundane and turns it into something more like every time he sits down to take his shoes off and rub his bad feet. Many highlights come to mind with this film: the aforementioned finale, Laughton rolling languidly through his scenes chewing whatever scenery is available, Laughton and Price sharing some scenes together(great to see these two in the same scene), Ava Gardner dancing, and just above-average camera work and crisp dialog in that great film noir tradition. A classic!


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