7.6/10
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Thieves' Highway (1949)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | 10 October 1949 (USA)
A war-veteran-turned-truck driver attempts to avenge the crippling and robbing of his father at the hands of an amoral produce scofflaw.

Director:

Jules Dassein (as Jules Dassin)

Writers:

A.I. Bezzerides (screen play), A.I. Bezzerides (based on his novel: "Thieves' Market")
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Conte ... Nick Garcos
Valentina Cortese ... Rica (as Valentina Cortesa)
Lee J. Cobb ... Mike Figlia
Barbara Lawrence ... Polly Faber
Jack Oakie ... Slob
Millard Mitchell ... Ed Kinney
Joseph Pevney ... Pete
Morris Carnovsky ... Yanko Garcos
Tamara Shayne Tamara Shayne ... Parthena Garcos
Kasia Orzazewski Kasia Orzazewski ... Mrs. Polansky, the Apple Farmer's Wife
Norbert Schiller ... Mr. Polansky, the Apple Farmer
Hope Emerson ... Midge, a buyer
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Storyline

The soldier Nick Garcos returns back home from the war very happy, with gifts for his parents Yanko and Parthena Garcos and money in his pocket to open a business and marry his girlfriend Polly Faber. Out of the blue, Nick realizes that his father has lost both legs. Yanko, who was a truck driver, says that he was cheated by a dealer, Mike Figlia, in a San Francisco market when he delivered a truckload of tomatoes but was not paid. He believes that his accident was caused by Figlia's gangsters. Yanko also says that he then sold the truck to a driver named Ed Kinney who has not paid him. Nick meets Ed and says that he will take back the truck, but Ed proposes a deal with apples, where they may earn a great amount of money. Nick invests his savings in another truck and buys apples from a Polish farmer. They need to drive directly to the market in San Francisco without sleeping to keep the fruit fresh; but Ed's truck has problem with its axle, and Nick arrives first. Mike Figlia hires ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You Need a Friend, Strong Man, - And I'm Friendly! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

Greek | English | Italian

Release Date:

10 October 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Collision See more »

Filming Locations:

Oakland, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #273. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, when Nick is confronting Mike, he hits Mike's hand with the small hatchet. The head of the hatchet can be seen flying off the end of the handle. However in subsequent scenes the head is back on the handle. (correction follows)

In the same scene, Mike can be seen nursing his injured, bloodied hand. Later, however, as Nick attacks Mike, there is no sign of blood on Mike's hand. See more »

Quotes

Rica: [knowingly, after getting out of the shower, and hearing that Polly has walked out on Nick] Aren't women wonderful?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in L.A. Noire (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue (Has Anybody Seen My Girl?)
(uncredited)
Music by Ray Henderson
Played when Rica tries to wake Nick up
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another Great Film-Noir by Jules Dassin
24 May 2013 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

The soldier Nick Garcos (Richard Conte) returns back home from the war very happy with gifts for his parents Yanko (Morris Carnovsky) and Parthena Garcos (Tamara Shayne) and money in his pocket to open a business and get married with his girlfriend Polly Faber (Barbara Lawrence). Out of blue, Nick realizes that his father lost both legs and Yanko, who was a truck driver, tells that he was cheated by the dealer Mike Figlia (Lee J. Cobb) in the San Francisco's market when he delivered a truckload of tomatoes and was not paid. He believes that his accident was provoked by Figlia's gangsters. He also tells that he sold the truck to a driver named Ed Kinney (Millard Mitchell) that has not paid him.

Nick meets Ed and tells that he will bring the truck back, but Ed proposes a deal with apples, where they may earn a great amount. Nick invests his savings in another truck and buys apples from a Polish farmer. They need to drive directly to the market in San Francisco without sleeping to keep the fruits fresh, but Ed's truck has problem on its axle and Nick arrives first. Mike Figlia hires the Italian whore Rica (Valentina Cortesa) to distract Nick but she falls for him and tells that Mike is robbing his cargo. Mike is forced to share his selling with Nick and her earns a large amount. Then he calls Polly and asks her to meet him to get married, and Rica tells to Nick that Polly is only interested in his money. When Nick is robbed by Mike's gangsters, he learns who really loves him. But Nick still has to settle the score with Mike.

"Thieves' Highway" is another great film-noir by Jules Dassin in a period of the post-war ruled by gangsters and corruption. Nick Garcos begins the story happy and expecting to get married with his girlfriend and ends a dark character in love with a prostitute with a heart of gold. The direction and performances are top-notch and the story is realistic. The sequence with the uncontrolled truck without brake in the highway is impressive. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Mercado de Ladrões" ("Thieves' Market")


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