36 user 9 critic

Borderline (1950)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1 March 1950 (USA)
Two undercover agents infiltrate a drug-smuggling ring in Mexico, but neither is aware of the other's identity.


William A. Seiter


Devery Freeman (story and screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Fred MacMurray ... Johnny McEvoy - aka Johnny Macklin
Claire Trevor ... Madeleine Haley
Raymond Burr ... Pete Ritchie
José Torvay ... Miguel (as Jose Torvay)
Morris Ankrum ... Bill Whittaker
Roy Roberts ... Harvey Gumbin
Don Diamond ... Deusik
Nacho Galindo ... Porfirio
Pepe Hern Pepe Hern ... Pablo
Grazia Narciso Grazia Narciso ... Porfirio's Wife


Customs agents are looking for information about Pete Ritchie, who is involved in smuggling drugs into the US. Police officer Madeleine Haley goes undercover in order to gain Ritchie's confidence, and before long she meets him through one of his associates. As she is talking with Ritchie, Johnny Macklin and one of his men burst in, and they provoke a violent confrontation. From then on, Haley is in constant danger as she attempts to figure out everything that is happening in the smuggling operation. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two Undercover Agents Unwittingly Stalk the Same Target.


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


After the original 1950 copyright lapsed in the 1970s, the film was considered to be in the public domain, and found its way into the inventory of countless independent videotape and DVD distributors. See more »


When Johnny and Madeleine are ditching the body in the Mexican town, the right side of the car is completely splattered with dry mud. Moments later, when they ditch the car in the ravine, it is almost totally clean. See more »


Johnny McEvoy, aka Johnny Macklin: How long you been knocking around in this racket?
Madeleine Haley, aka Gladys LaRue: Let's see. I started when I was in kindergarten I sold the stuff to my little pals. How'd you get mixed up with Harvey Gumbin?
Johnny McEvoy, aka Johnny Macklin: Oh, that goes back a long way too. They put me in reform school when I was 4 - threw me in with a lotta hardened criminals of 7 or 8. I learned plenty. But they couldn't hold me. I broke out when I was 5. I met Gumbin and I've been with him ever since.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The badly edited version, released by Viking Entertainment/Burbank Video is missing the scene when the heroes discover they are both cops! See more »


Featured in The World Famous Kid Detective (2014) See more »

User Reviews

Guns, Cars, a Dame and a Plane
15 December 2004 | by yonhopeSee all my reviews

Hi, Everyone,

I bought the DVD of Borderline at the 99 Cent Store. One buck for the movie makes it low cost but also there is no menu or chapters to make it easy to find a specific place in the movie.

There are some fun moments in the film. If you are an old car buff, you will see a 1939 Buick (pushed front end first into a shallow ravine), a 1949 Mercury, an old Nash and other vintage cars and trucks and buses.

Some mistakes from the movie include at the 45 minute point, Fred MacMurray looks into his rear view mirror (39 Buick) to see a motorcycle cop who is chasing him. The only problem is there is no rear view mirror. It was common in these old movies to remove the rear view mirror at the top of the inside of the windshield so the camera could see the driver and the passengers in the car. At 76 minutes into the movie watch the 1949 Mercury as it comes toward the camera and merges with traffic. It is supposed to be a convertible with 2 people inside. This is a stock footage insert of a '49 Mercury 4 door sedan with one person inside.

Two excellent scenes to watch for include a plane landing beautifully on a beach and taxiing up to the camera (63 minutes into the film), and a scene where a dead man is in the back seat of Fred MacMurray's car. The man playing the corpse keeps his eyes wide open for what seems like a minute or longer without blinking. That is at the 44 minute spot in the movie.

The story is OK. It straddles somewhere between comedy and serious detective chase film.

A better Raymond Burr movie might be "Rear Window." Fred MacMurray was more memorable in "Double Indemnity."

Tom Willett

17 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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English | Spanish

Release Date:

1 March 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tráfico de muerte See more »

Filming Locations:

Malibu, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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