711 Ocean Drive (1950) Poster

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Still entertaining, warts and all!
romarub7 July 2007
711 Ocean Drive was indeed preachy, as attested to and confirmed by the blurbs at both beginning and end. Still, I found the film interesting and entertaining (although D.O.A. remains my all-time favorite O'Brien, and one of my top favorites, overall). The character of Mal Granger really presented a sharp and unexpected contrast to that of Frank Bigelow in D.O.A. The real surprise in this film came early on when the personality of Granger, itself, did a 180-degree turnaround, from the benign, carefree and kindly telephone repairman (who insisted his co-worker accept a few bucks that he was in need of), to the ruthless, unscrupulous, and murderous "operator" for whom even a little power is seen to surely corrupt. Although the early-on character of Granger is seen for only the first 15 or 20 minutes of the film, the contrast remained with me throughout. An excellent characterization by O'Brien, as usual.
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What A Little Know How Will Get You
bkoganbing6 July 2007
711 Ocean Drive finds Edmond O'Brien as just a working stiff, toiling away at a job for the telephone company and getting a bit behind in with his bookie. Fortunately the bookie, Sammy White, is an understanding guy and recognizes talent when he sees it. He takes him to wire service operator Barry Kelley who controls the illegal gambling in Southern California and Kelley puts O'Brien to work, modernizing the business.

That's the beginning of O'Brien's rise in the gambling rackets. He's talented, but his reach exceeded his grasp, especially when he started reaching for Joanne Dru while she was still married to racketeer Don Porter.

There's a lot of similarity between O'Brien and Humphrey Bogart in High Sierra. They're both talented, at the top of their respective trades. We only see Bogart at the downfall of his career. Still that climax which takes place at Hoover Dam was definitely inspired by High Sierra.

Besides those already mentioned look for good performances by Howard St. John as the honest cop on O'Brien's trail, Bert Freed as the syndicate's number one hit man, and Otto Kruger the very smooth syndicate boss who never gets his hands dirty with the details.

711 Ocean Drive is a very nice noir film, made at the height of Edmond O'Brien's career as a B picture leading man.
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Excellent reflection of '50's style
Wrangler7 July 2007
A better than routine, if not exceptional, noir crime drama, with O'Brien excellent in the lead, and good casting throughout. Opening and closing textural comments convey the sense that this is more of a sensational expose of syndicate control of horse-race betting (a major West coast institution if there ever was one), produced "under threat". That remains to be seen. What is undeniable is that a well-paced tale of one man's ambition is engagingly portrayed. Of particular interest are the wonderful filming locations in the L.A. area -- rich streetscapes--full of marvelous period detail, "Modern" architecture as seen in circular drive-ins, open plan houses, groovy bars ands nightclubs, and some flavor of Palm Springs weekending. With the evolution of O'Brien's character from a telephone repairman into a major crime so well reflected in the improvements in his dress, along with the sartorial variety among the leads, one gets a nice sense of personal style in this period. Worth a look.
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Ma Bell Should'a Paid Him More
dougdoepke8 July 2007
After seeing this movie, you may not look at a telephone repairman the same way again. Actually the result seems closer to the Cagney films of the thirties than to the noirs of the forties. For phone lineman Eddie O'Brien, it's a success story, as opportunity, know-how, and drive propel him to the top of the bookie racket. Fortunately the always energetic O'Brien makes the transition from working stiff to bookie king-pin both dynamic and believable. Then too, we meet some interesting people along the way, including smoothie Otto Kruger doing his best imitation of a smiling cobra, even as young marrieds Joanne Dru and Don Porter practice their 1950's version of open marriage. And in a usual thankless part, moon-faced Barry Kelley who bull-dozes everyone within reach through eyes so pinched, they're barely more than razor slits. Still, it's unheralded bit actors like him that really make movies like this work.

Director Joe Newman keeps things moving nicely, even the colorless scenes featuring the forces of law and order don't bog down the pacing. There're also some good location shots in and around LA, with an exhausting climax up and down the the stairwells of Boulder Dam as the giant turbines hum in the background. (I wonder how they get ordinary people who probably just happened to be at the dam that day, to be so natural with a movie camera and crew staring them in the face. Somehow they do.) My favorite part is setting up the "past-posting" scheme, showing how every technical innovation presents a criminal mastermind with a twisted opportunity. All in all, 7-11 may not be a jack-pot dice roll, but it is a decent thriller, entertaining if not exactly memorable.
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Influences past and future...
WarnersBrother6 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Contemporary dramas suffer from a problem...when viewed by later audiences, they require a historical prospective.

I saw this film for the first time last night, and it had me rivited to the screen. Not because it is brilliant. Because it is interesting on it's own merits and, more importantly, wildly interesting on the level of the connections with real-life and films before and after it. This is going to be a bit long, but I am in the process going to nominate this film for Lost Classic status. It was one of those wonderful (thank you TCM) discoveries that makes you say "Why have I never heard of this???". "711 Ocean Drive" falls into the gray area of Film Noir/Policer/Mob Movie. As a Policer, it's a total failure. As Film Noir, definitely. As a Mob Movie, incredibly forward for it's time.

Director Joe Newman did not have a stellar or particularly prolific career. Likely his best known films would be "This Island Earth" and "The Big Circus". The same can be said for the Writers, English and Swann. The film is immensely helped by Cinematographer Franz (Frank) Planer, who had what can only be called an illustrious career, including 5 Oscar nominations. Only a year before, he filmed the Noir classic "Criss-Cross. The aggressive camera work here could make one wonder who really directed this.

There are large portions of this film which owe to earlier pictures, but so do just about all movies. "High Sierra" has been mentioned, though I don't really see it here. "White Heat", only a year before and also with Edmond O'Brien? Yes, but I think they are both similar of the style Hollywood was reaching at the time. "711" actually feels more contemporary of the period. "Heat", while by far the better picture, seems almost a bit dated along side. The Warner's big budget didn't make it as atmospheric as "711", which captures 1950 Los Angeles and Vegas in a time capsule. The extensive location exteriors account for that; "White Heat" is relatively studio (or Prison) bound until the last minutes. And it's true noir; There are no good guys except the cops.

Other commentors have not seized on the things that make this most interesting, in that if you were around at the time (or seeing it today as a fan of mob movies), you would recognize some startling characters portrayed at a time which was arguably the high point of the power of American organized crime. When the ultimate lawman, John Edgar Hoover himself, swore before the country that "No national criminal conspiracy exists", which of course was the farthest thing from the truth, it was a pretty sweet time to be the Mafia.

Faithful Otto Kruger, doing what he does best in playing a genteel killer, is a thinly fictionalized Meyer Lansky. Don Porter, unusually good here as a suave sociopath, is a barely disguised Ben "Bugsy" Seigal. The assassination of Porter's character is a wonderfully accurate account of how killers, hiding in the bushes of Seigal's Beverly Hills home one night in 1947, pumped several rounds from an M-1 Carbine into the back of his head. They even get the gun right!. These things get better…Sammy White, who plays Chippie, looks for all the world like a young(er) Lee Strasburg, who played the Meyer Lansky character in "Godfather II". Bert Freed, in a character clearly based on mobster Moe Dalitz , sports gigantic, obtrusive eyeglasses which you kind of expect to have something to do with the plot, much to your disappointment. But when you take into account that the Moe Greene character in "The Godfather" is based upon Ben Siegal and Moe Dalitz (who have ever since vied for the title "The man who built Las Vegas") AND that one of those bullets famously shot out Ben Siegal's right eye out…maybe .that's why Moe got it in the eye? And the Glasses were a convenient place to put the blood squib….

Robert Osterloh, who was so very good in "Criss-Cross" (and sadly uncredited, considering the size if his part) is wasted here playing a killer named Gizzi who doesn't get to do much besides wear loud suits, snicker incessantly and get killed. Nonetheless, he's always watchable. Howard St. John is the real casting dud here, woefully wrong as the cop, but he's barely in the picture anyway. Joanne Dru is lovely and adequate as the dypsomaniacal and amoral wife of Porter. It's really not her fault, the script and the director don't give her much to do except provide a love triangle.

Edmund O'Brien is, I admit, a favorite actor of mine. Here he is in his element, providing the supercharged high-energy performance he was best at…and in this one, it's like he's been wired into the power grid. He seems to be constantly in motion, and that's what keeps this movie moving with him. The only actor at the time who would have been better in this would have been Burt Lancaster. But O'Brien carries it off nicely, given what he has to work with.

There is one gigantic plot hole: There is no way on earth the syndicate would not suspect that O'Brien was responsible for Porters murder. He is having a very open affair with the guys wife, and just happens to be there to provide a silly excuse to get himself and Dru out of the line of fire at just the right moment? Men like Lansky were not stupid. However, a little suspended disbelief takes care of such holes.

So I hereby nominate this film for Forgotten Classic status...TCM has a print which they showed recently, so keep an eye out for it. To my knowledge it's not on VHS or DVD., which is a shame.
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Noir set in LA
blanche-229 March 2009
"711 Ocean Drive" is an interesting '50s film noir set in Los Angeles. Edmond O'Brien stars as Mal Granger, a nice telephone repairman who is into a bookie for some gambling debts. The bookie makes a deal with him and, since he's a technician, has him do some modernization on the illegal gambling in the area that uses the wire service. The O'Brien character turns out to be pretty ambitious and greedy and starts making his way up the ladder in the syndicate. He does well until some guys from the East coast show up and want some of his action.

The O'Brien character really changes from the beginning, when he's a relaxed, friendly guy. Then he becomes ruthless and murderous. O'Brien does a great job in making this change believable. There are also very good performances from Howard St. John as a police officer, Bert Freed as a hit man, and Otto Kruger as a mob boss. Joanne Dru is the object of Mal's affections, although she's married to someone else.

Seeing Los Angeles in the '50s is one of the best parts of this film. Recommended for Edmond O'Brien, the scenery, and the noir style.
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Entertainment As Public Service
LeonLouisRicci11 October 2013
Skirting the periphery of Film-Noir this one probably lands more than not in the Police Film or the Authorities Are Your Friend Category. These Types were Everywhere after the War. This one Preaches about Your "two dollar bet" Financing Organized Crime and Murder. These Movies were not only for Entertainment but for a sort of Public Service.

Technology was also a "new" element in Law Enforcement and the Fight against Communism and Films were want to display as much High Tech Stuff as possible. We get quite a bit of that here with Electronic Whiz Kid, Edmond O'Brien strutting His Stuff and landing a Slot with the Local Mob. This is a less Personal Film then most Noir's and tends to paint with a wide brush with its Coast to Coast Crime Syndicate with tangled wires and many Locations.

A good tightly wound Thriller, this has an Energy for sure and hardly ever settles down and the Interpersonal is disposed of quite Brutally at times. Interesting and more layered than most, this one has a Bigger Budget and Broader Scope than a typical B-Movie and is a well crafted, if at times Stiff, Expose.
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A good, solid Noir effort from O'Brien
MartinHafer21 July 2007
This film stars Edmund O'Brien as a scheming and brilliant mobster--a far cry from the good guy roles in Film Noir films such as DOA and WHITE HEAT. It seems that although at the beginning of the film he's a simple worker for the phone company, he is an expert with electronics and phone lines, so he's able to help a small California mob grow until it controlled the entire state's bookmaking operation. Not content to be just a bit player, he works his way up to the top of this mob until the "big boys" back East recognize his worth and they want a piece of the action. At first, things work out well for O'Brien and he becomes very rich with this new arrangement. However, over time, this relationship sours. Eventually, O'Brien's greed and feelings of invulnerability take their toll--leading to a stirring finale at Hoover Dam.

As expected, O'Brien did an excellent job and he was one terrific actor--particularly in his gangster films. O'Brien's love interest is Joanne Dru, who plays a screwed up lady who wants to see O'Brien go straight but does nothing to actually change him and also does a lot to excuse his excesses. The national syndicate is headed by veteran actor Otto Kruger, who does a nice job playing the "sophisticated and cultured" thug. Oddly, Howard St. John plays the honest and determined police detective bent on stopping O'Brien--since in most films St. John plays heavies or weak-willed jerks.

Overall, it was a very engaging and original Noir film. In particular, the electronics angle was very, very high-tech for 1950 and still was intriguing today. Also, while this film isn't so violent or full of colorful Noir lingo, it does have enough to satisfy fans of the genre. Overall, it's a very good film but a far cry from the greatness and excitement of the better examples of Noir due to its occasionally heavy-handed "crime does not pay" message. As for me, I prefer my Noir a bit more on the cold side.
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How the information highway leads straight to hell
bmacv4 September 2001
The address of Edmond O'Brien's posh Malibu digs -- 711 Ocean Drive -- lends the title to this semidocumentary noir about bookmaking. Unfortunately the movie is bookended by sermons instructing viewers on their civic responsibilities: the two bucks you put on a horse go straight to graft and murder! In between, it's not bad. O'Brien, always better supporting than, as here, in the lead, is a money-grubbing telephone technician who brings his electronic expertise to the illegal-betting circuit. The profits his innovations generate oil his swift climb up the syndicate ladder; his ruthlessness greases his slide down. Along the way, the movie casually includes what may be the first Hollywood episode of severe wife-battering, perpetrated on Joanne Dru. At the end, O'Brien's grasping ambitions are dwarfed by the enormity of Boulder Dam, and viewers are left with a sense of his brief notoriety being but a single cog in a vast, unstoppable crime machine. It's a dated message in a time when, increasingly, gambling with the government's blessing has become the new civic responsibility.
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Don't Make Two Dollar Bets
whpratt111 September 2007
Enjoyed this great 1950 film starring Edmond O'Brien, ( Mal Granger) who plays the role of a telephone repair man with great skills in communications and all kinds of ability to set up telephone lines anywhere he so desires. Mal gets tired of his old routine job and meets up with his bookie who places his bets on the race track and offers him a very profitable job with the big time gambling bosses. Mal gets very powerful with all the bookies and begins to disturb the big shot bosses from other states and that is when Carl Stephens, (Otto Kruger) decides he is going to cut in on Mal Granger's business. Mal joins up with Carl Stephens and then gets himself involved with a married woman named Gail Mason, (Joanne Dru) and they fall madly in love with each other. There is many twists and turns in this film and you have some fantastic scenes all around Hoover Dam with non stop entertainment right to the very end. Enjoy.
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A Tasty Meat and Potatoes Film Noir
gordonl5627 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
711 OCEAN DRIVE 1950

This Columbia Pictures production from 1950 is about an ordinary Joe being taken by the "dark side". The film stars Edmond O'Brien, Joanne Dru, Otto Kruger, Barry Kelly, Sammy White, Dorothy Patrick, Howard St John, Don Porter and Robert Osterloh.

O'Brien is an employee for the phone company at the bottom of the salary ladder. This is not the greatest thing as O'Brien has a fondness for playing long shots at the ponies. His bookie, Sammy White, says he can hook O'Brien up with his boss, Barry Kelly. Kelly runs a string of bookies that use a wire service for horse results. White is sure a guy with O'Brien's smarts with phones etc could be useful.

Sure enough, O'Brien has Kelly's wire service up and running at top speed in no time. Kelly hires the man on the spot at a hefty raise over his phone company pay. He moves up in the organization rapidly as he helps Kelly improve his cash inflow.

O'Brien decides he wants a bigger cut of the take and forces Kelly to cut him in for it. Kelly agrees because he needs O'Brien to run the new electronic set up. O'Brien is soon flush with a new ocean front pad, a fancy car and wads of cash. Things get better when his partner, Kelly, is killed by a disgruntled bookie. Now O'Brien is running the show.

This happy series of events (for O'Brien) soon hits a speed bump. O'Brien's racket has gotten big enough for the eastern mob boys to take an interest. They decide to invite themselves in as partners for a 50 percent cut.

The mob boss, Otto Kruger, sends out his man, Don Porter to talk with O'Brien about the deal. Porter takes his wife, Joanne Dru along to see the coast. O'Brien does not like the mob move, but knows he should play along. He also takes to Porter's wife, Dru. The two are soon stepping out behind Porter's back.

Needless to say this is going to lead to a spot of trouble. Dru is on the receiving end of a beating from Porter, which is also a warning to O'Brien to lay off Dru. O'Brien has fallen hard for Dru and wants Porter out of the way. He hires a hit-man, Robert Osterloh to take care of the problem.

10 large to Osterloh, soon has Mister Porter acquiring several large holes in the middle of his back. The mob is not pleased with the hit and question O'Brien, Dru etc. They intend to even the score if they can discover who did the deed. O'Brien swears he had nothing to do with Porter's death. The mob keeps looking for the killer. They do not like loose ends.

By this time, the Police have become interested in O'Brien and the operation. The Detective in charge, Howard St. John roots around looking for a reason to bust up O'Brien and the mob's racket.

Now a further fly lands in the old ointment, Osterloh. He has decided that O'Brien is ripe for a spot of blackmail. He puts pressure on O'Brien to cough up a healthy bundle of cash, or the mob will find out about O'Briens's part in Porter's death. O'Brien agrees to the deal and meets Osterloh late that night. O'Brien however bumps off Osterloh ending the man's ploy.

Of course matters now start to go to pieces for O'Brien and Dru. The mob has tumbled on their own to O'Brien's involvement with their man Porter's killing. They call up the Police and tell them about the killing. Mob boss Kruger thinks it will be funny to let the Police take care of the matter.

O'Brien, Dru and his man, Sammy White, are soon on the road to Vegas. There, they use some of O'Brien's knowledge of the wire service to beat the mob out of 250 large. This is their get out of the country loot.

Needless to say this idea goes south in a hurry. The mob grabs up White for a trip to out to the desert to fill in a hole. O'Brien and Dru are chased down by the Police at Boulder Dam. Dru is captured while O'Brien is given a less than healthy dose of lead poisoning.

This is meat and potatoes mid-range noir that gets the job done. The cast is all first rate, with O'Brien in particular doing excellent work. One can see him change as the lure of cash and power overcome him.

The director, Joseph M Newman was a two time Oscar nominated 2nd unit helmsman who moved up the ladder to director. While never an A list director, he did pump out some decent films in various genres. These include, ABANDONED, PONY SOLDIER, THIS ISLAND EARTH, DANGEROUS CROSSING, THE GEORGE RAFT STORY and GUNFIGHT AT DODGE CITY.

The look of the film is quite sharp with the talented Franz Planer handling the cinematography duties. The 5 time Oscar nominated Planer's films include the film noir, THE CHASE, THE SCARF, THE LONG WAIT, 99 RIVER STREET and the classics, CHAMPION and CRISS CROSS. ROMAN HOLIDAY, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S and THE BIG COUNTRY are some of his other film work.

A much better film than this humble review would suggest.
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another winner from Edmond O'Brien
pearsontepper3 December 2003
Along with DOA, The Killers, White Heat, Shield for Murder, the Hitchhiker, this entry attests to the style of O'Brien, who may be the worlds best sweater. This film is quick, has good dialogue, and location shooting. The best moments are really not the climactic finale, but rather those where O'Brien banters with Otto Kruger (who is perfect) and Don Porter. I agree however that the preachy ending might best be ignored.
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A Movie That No Film Noir Fan Should Overlook
seymourblack-117 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
At the time of its release, this fine crime thriller was both an expose of the involvement of organised crime syndicates in the gambling rackets and an account of the rise and fall of a top mobster. The whole production is fast-moving, strong on realism and culminates in an exciting and spectacular climax at the Hoover Dam (which was then known as Boulder Dam). The mobster's story is unusual because of his untypical background and the fact that it's his technical knowledge that initially propels him to the status of being a crime boss. Furthermore, it's also interesting to watch the very natural and plausible ways in which he gradually transforms from being an ordinary working class guy into a ruthless, unprincipled criminal who's powerfully motivated by greed.

Telephone company engineer Mal Granger (Edmond O'Brien) gets on well with his co-workers and enjoys placing bets on horse races. His lack of success at betting leaves him out of pocket and one day his bookie and good friend Chippie Evans (Sammy White) suggests that he might do better by using his technical expertise for the benefit of a private company that would pay him far more than the modest income he receives from his current employer. This leads to Mal being introduced to Vince Walters (Barry Kelley) who runs a racing wire service and being hired after he outlines a number of efficiency improvements that he could make for the benefit of the business. Mal enthusiastically makes a whole range of changes that quickly increase its profits and enable Vince to develop his long-term plan to expand the service to cover all of California.

When Mal isn't rewarded financially for the huge difference that he's made to the profitability of Vince's business, he makes it clear just how easily he could reverse the process and Vince reluctantly agrees to make him a partner. Another benefit that Mal enjoys in his new surroundings is his friendship with fellow employee Trudy Maxwell (Dorothy Patrick).

Vince Walters is an intimidating character who puts enormous financial pressures on the bookies who are dependant on his wire service for the success of their businesses. One day, after pressing one of these bookies to the limit and even threatening his family, the bookie shoots and kills him and this leads to Mal taking full control of the operation. This change also, however, brings him under the scrutiny of Los Angeles Gangster Squad Detective Pete Wright (Howard St. John) who had for some time suspected that the business was a cover for some criminal activities.

A more significant and damaging development then follows after Mal is approached by Larry Mason (Don Porter) on behalf of Carl Stephans (Otto Kruger) who's the head of the East Coast crime syndicate. They make him a generous offer to take over his business and compensate him handsomely by making him a partner in their outfit. The complications that follow lead to Mal getting involved in infidelity, murders and blackmail in a sequence of events that bring about a rapid decline in his fortunes that he's completely unable to control.

"711 Ocean Drive" is a top class documentary-style film noir that doesn't enjoy the level of recognition that it deserves. Its story is far more original and interesting than many similar movies and the quality of its screenplay, cinematography and acting performances is really impressive. Edmond O'Brien conveys Mal Granger's drive, enthusiasm and initial optimism brilliantly and his whole descent into the dark side is extremely convincing.in what must be one of the best performances of his career. This is definitely a movie that no film noir fan should overlook.
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Rooting for the bad guy
alydar2125 June 2013
Yes, I was heavily rooting for O'Brien to prevail in this flick. The cops seemed to get too much out of the smallest bits of info in taking him down.

The crappy preach at the ending, and the inevitability that O'Brien wold be foiled spoiled it somewhat. And it was much too long to get to the predictable conclusion.

But Dorothy Patrick as Trudy was a nice plus! O'Brien's aide, "Chippie" was good as his reliable 2nd man. Constant visible Cash profits from vigorish helped the realism.

Also enjoy the gambling lingo. This is year 2013 and I believe 'past posting' is still prevalent today!
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The address is noir
jarrodmcdonald-130 July 2014
Feel like going for a ride? Why not take a trip to 711 Ocean Drive and visit Edmond O'Brien? It may not be the toniest address around, but for noir enthusiasts, it is sure to be an exciting destination.

Columbia Pictures has offered a compelling drama about gangsters and bookies. While the story has a few far-fetched moments, it certainly provides more than its share of thrills. It allows the multi-talented Mr. O'Brien an opportunity to deliver a dynamic and somewhat sympathetic performance. In fact, O'Brien plays his villainous part so carefully and so smoothly that we almost cannot be sure he won't be redeemed by the time it all ends.

Of course, the story has been written and filmed to denounce organized crime, so the outcome for O'Brien's character may seem obvious to viewers-- but it is to his credit that O'Brien gives us a few points to stop along the way, to hit the brakes and turn off the road at a junction where we can think and say 'what if--.'

Fans of the actor may also want to check out D.O.A. and SHIELD FOR MURDER.
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Climbing the Crime Ladder
mackjay228 May 2019
Well-done Noir thriller with a great character arc. Edmond O'Brien stars as Mal Granger, an ordinary telephone worker who talks his way into working for an off-track betting operation, greatly increasing their revenue and quickly rising to the top level of its ranks. While Mal seems like a pretty nice guy at the start, his darker, ambitious side comes to the fore when competition for money and women are involved. Something of a cautionary tale, the movie presents an interesting development for the main character and O'Brien plays it well. Barry Kelley is great as the tough-talking small syndicate boss and Otto Kruger seems to enjoy his role as the bigger boss whose company engulfs Kelley's after the latter's death. TV regular Don Porter is also very good, married to the woman (Joanne Dru) who falls for Mal and soon regrets her life choices in general. Beautiful Dorothy Patrick has the thankless role of nice girl rejected by Mal on his way to the top. Also really good is Sammy White, memorable as "Chippie" a poor sap for Mal's machinations. LA locations, circa 1949-50 are great to see, and Boulder (Hoover) Dam provides a super backdrop for the film's climax. Well directed by Joseph M. Newman. One of the top Columbia Noirs.
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Great locations with an engaging story.
AaronIgay17 October 2013
This is a fairly decent picture but it was largely of interest to me for the backdrops. It was great to get a good look at the cutting edge telephone technology of the day, which was probably not without it's inaccuracies. Plus we get to see what was still relatively new at the time, the Hoover Dam in all it's glory. The film also featured a short scene at Gilmore Field, a PCL baseball park which was located at Beverly and Fairfax in LA. It was demolished when the Dodgers came to town and is where CBS Television Studios currently stands. While you won't see a ballgame, you can go to the site now to be in the audience of 'The Price is Right.'
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711 Ocean Drive-Pay A Visit to this Address ***1/2
edwagreen8 July 2007
While Oscar winner, Edmond O'Brien, was never much of a leading man, he does a very good acting job in this 1950 film. Here he plays a telephone installer whose knowledge of electronics soon gets him involved with the mob affairs in phone hookups and gambling. By a quirk of fate, O'Brien moves up readily until he is put in charge of the western operations.

The film, an interesting one, deals with mob relations, deceit, corruption and has plenty of violence.

Watch for an interesting performance by Hardy Kruger as a gambling magnate. Howard St. John appears as a police detective who is hot on the trail of O'Brien and there is a brief but memorable acting job by Don Porter, who later turned to comedy in the television show "Private Secretary" with Ann Sothern.

The film admirably deals with the evils of gambling and its relation to organized crime. Well worth watching as well to see the interesting performance of Joanne Dru, as Porter's wife and O'Brien's girlfriend.
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'Fimed under police protection'
robert-temple-110 August 2012
This is a good crime thriller, with something of a noir atmosphere. The contemporary artwork (reproduced on the cover of the DVD) bears the motto, shown also in the credits: 'Filmed under police protection'. Great PR! Probably untrue, but it sounds impressive. (I suppose if the producer hired an off-duty policeman to stand guard for an hour, the film was made 'under police protection'.) The film stars Edmond O'Brien, who was in impressive form here as a bad guy, though it would not be until Ida Lupino chose him for the lead three years later in her remarkable film THE BIGAMIST (1953, see my review) that it would become clear to all what a truly fine and versatile actor he really was. In this film he is a telephone communications expert who gets hired to create a wire network for race track bookies, but he takes it over and develops a serious case of ego inflation and goes mad with power and greed. He gets into conflict with 'the Mob' from back East, as they say, and has to make a deal to accept them as partners because otherwise they will kill him. Aren't gangsters nice people? One does get a bit tired of them. The boring title of this film was not exactly calculated to drag people into the box office, as postal addresses lack sex appeal, did no one tell them that?
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Additional Filming Location: Musso Franks Grill
BruceUllm30 July 2007
Unless I have been taken in by some very good set design, there are several scenes filmed in the famed Musso-Frank's Grill on Hollywood Boulevard. It's been about 15 years since I was in there, but remember it very well: it's a time warp! Now that Chasen's is gone, Musso-Frank's remains one of the few fine old dining establishments in Los Angeles from the golden era of Hollywood. The place dates from 1919 and the decor is timeless. Sort of a 1930's feel to it. The bar is a special treat. You can imagine dialogue from a period movie spoken in such a setting.

I still remember the wonderful vodka martini (straight up, two olives) that I got there. One (or two) of those and you can almost forget the present, save for the prices, of course!
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Fairly Standard Los Angeles Noir!
jimddddd25 April 2001
Reliable Edmund O'Brien stars in this fairly routine B-thriller as a phone company repairman who uses his electrical knowhow to set up a highly efficent bookie system for a local gangster. When the gangster is shot to death by a poor schlub he's been squeezing for gambling debts, O'Brien takes over the operation. Suddenly several big boys from the "syndicate" back east come into Los Angeles to get a piece of the action. O'Brien's reach extends his grasp when he sets up the murder of one of his new partners (Don Porter), because the hit man decides that he should also be getting a cut of the action. The movie's best scene is its big finish at Boulder Dam (aka Hoover Dam), where O'Brien and Joann Dru take the tour down into the guts of the concrete beast to elude the cops. Despite the 1950 charm of Los Angeles, a couple of ominous characters and the rapid changes in O'Brien's fortunes, "711 Ocean Drive" (possibly a reference to O'Brien's Malibu digs) never seems to work up a good head of steam until the very end.
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wonderful contemporary cars and buses plus street and crowd scenes and finally the denouement at the great Hoover Dam
christopher-underwood16 February 2021
This has a rather slow and dull beginning complete with government warnings and allusions to illegal gambling and racetrack activity. Things do improve, however, and if Edmond O'Brien is not my ideal leading man, he does well enough as an honest Joe gradually corrupted and brought into big time crime. Joanne Dru, similarly, is not the most convincing of femme fatals but she does well here, perhaps falling for our man so quickly that we think she is still only kidding and doing her boss's bidding. Indeed big boss Otto Kruger is probably the strongest performer here and helps gradually propel this picture to something more interesting. Lots of location shooting with wonderful contemporary cars and buses plus street and crowd scenes and finally the denouement at the great Hoover Dam. Up until shortly before filming known as the Boulder Dam, this straddles the border of Arizona and Nevada and is a fitting finale with its cavernous tunnels, walkways and stairways. Good but not great.
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atrpm2 February 2021
This film has lots of good ingredients. Good acting, reasonably good cinematography, and nice old cars. But the principal relationship, between Granger (O'Brien) and his moll, just does not work. He is enraged for pretty much the whole movie, and there is very little to like in the Granger character. Yet a beautiful, sensitive woman (whose presence is often signified by a gentle violin tune) decides she loves him. Huh? What's to love? The principal element of suspense (will he get caught and by whom) is barely exploited for much of the film. In the end, one just doesn't much care what happens to anyone in this film. That doesn't make it a film noir; it makes it dull.
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An Actor's Split Performance
jcappy18 January 2021
The most interesting thing to me about "Ocean 711" is Edmond O'Brien's (Mal Granger) acting /role in part one as opposed to the same, when midway in, the Syndicate touches down in California. It was exactly at this point that I had determined to 'walk out.' What changed me wasn't any shift in the plot which continued on along its conventional plane, but rather a switch in O'Brien's energy, character, and demeanor.

We're told, right from the get-go, by the docu voice-over, that Mal Granger is a typical worker, a regular Joe who has just happened to have fallen, through a series of circumstances, into the gambling racket. That certainly could be the case and it was quite easy to project such a character. But only a few minutes into the movie, the viewer meets a Mal who is far closer to a born and raised gangster than to an actual telephone repairman, or any other common man. He's blustery, mostly crude, womanizing, swaggering, and cocky. In fact, he begins to make his cynical and hardened boss, who has to take a bullet so that Mal can rise to the Big Boss of the California horse racing rackets, sympathetic in comparison. Mal Granger is so moribund, so boilerplate, that he's really no more than a self-caricature.

But fold that guy up and toss him in the closet, because a new O'Brien/Granger, the actor, is about to emerge. When Joanne Dru (Gail Mason) and Otto Kruger (Carl Stephens) enter, CLASS takes over. These are not only the bigger national players, but also the bigger actors. Or, at least that's a logical deduction given the transformation of the film at their entry.

The pace picks up, scenes tighten, suspense finally emerges, and more imposing characters replace the 2-D types. But most importantly, Mal Granger finally takes on more valiant proportions. He looks more imposing, acts more human, more engaged, more convincing, and more genuinely gutsy. And he's more integrated into both the action, and the noir world.

But if there is one impetus for this transformation, it's Joanne Dru/Mason. Every character/acting trait that O'Brien/Granger suddenly takes on, she already owns in spades. No way that the womanizing, blowhard dud that Granger has been could match her directness, complexity, and verve. And it's not that she's some muse but rather that she's an actor who has taken charge of her role, which Granger must equal--which he does, which is why the latter half of "Ocean 711" sure beats the first half.
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Excellent 1950's crime thriller
miked-268008 January 2021
Ed O'Brien is in good form here as an electronics expert who almost accidentally becomes involved with and then a big player in mob activities centred on gambling. Many good scenes and convincing bad guy performances from all involved.
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