The theft of a jeweled treasure is within an adventurer's grasp; he is restrained by his love for a good woman. Now he must help her and the kid he was hired to rob escape as the Chinese Civil War nears Hong Kong.
Marsha Mitchell, a traveling dress model, stops in a southern town to see her sister who has married a Ku Klux Klansman. Marsha sees the KKK commit a murder and helps District Attorney Burt Rainey in bringing the criminals to justice.
In the final days of WW2, in a M.A.S.H. unit in Burma, a severely wounded corporal watches in dismay as fellow soldiers pack-up to return home but a caring nurse and five remaining soldiers bring him solace.
Roguish, Indiana Jones-like, fedora and leather jacket-wearing American adventurer and black marketeer Jeff Williams is hired to steal a priceless, jewel-encrusted, gold statue of Buddha, the only possession of a small, recently orphaned, Chinese boy called Wei Lin, who arrived in Honk Kong with a group of refugees escaping the Chinese civil war that Mao's Communists are winning. Jeff cold-heartedly does his job only to end up being stuck with the kid, who sees him as a surrogate father and refuses to let go of him. When Jeff meets a pretty school teacher and daughter of a missionary, Julie McQuade, his tough shell begins to break as he grows fond of both her and the kid and realizes he must help them escape the city while there's still time. However, his non-sentimental employees double cross him and Jeff must use all his skills and wits to survive this adventure.
If you're wondering where Indiana Jones came from, here it is. The picture starts off with an American adventurer on a cargo plane in China, a husky, middle-aged Irish-American brunette. He's wearing a brown leather pilot's jacket and a matching fedora, and finds a young Chinese boy stowing away behind some cargo. Except for the extravagant action shots, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom follows the Reagan plot more or less perfectly for the first twenty minutes. I wonder if it was a deliberate rip-off on the part of Spielberg, or a subconscious "homage"?
After that, it's a reasonably pleasant 1950's spy thriller, with the good guy holding off the insidious red menace until the next time, saving both the foxy damsel in distress and the cute little Chinese boy.
A fun watch in and of itself, typical of the times and genre, and interesting as a bit of history, a probably unwitting building block for one of Hollywood's best known series.
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