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In 1848 NYC, a Frenchwoman visits exiled former French Marshal Thevenet to ask for his financial help in behalf of his French grandson but Thevenet's house staff schemes to kill him and take his fortune.
Claire Sinclair is hiding in Mexico to avoid testifying against her gangster boyfriend. Her seclusion is made difficult by Cappy Gordon, a mob strongman out to kill her unless she runs off with him. Trying to help Claire is Russ Lambert, an American prizefighter.Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
A pretty crummy affair with some exciting action stuff at the very end.
Second Chance (1953)
To really enjoy this movie you have to know its place in the RKO filmmaking world. And you'd probably have to see it in 3D as it was originally intended. You won't get too far with the meandering plot that doesn't create tension, or romance, or even curiosity. We are made to simply watch and wait for something to happen.
Of course, something does happen, and in a big way, near the end, something completely separate from the intended plot. And even in 2D you get the drama and the dizzying depth of it all. And you get to watch three very big stars in expensive Technicolor--producer Howard Hughes really laid it all out for this one. Robert Mitchum looks good as both lonely man wooing the girl and as a boxer (briefly). Linda Darnell is the woman every man wants, apparently (especially Hughes, by the way). And Jack Palance is like a piece of wreckage, wired up and angry and with a face to sink a thousand ships.
The setting is interesting, too, all shot on location in Mexico, except some reshooting of the boxing scene (oddly enough, because it looks so authentic). Mitchum and Palance both got into some local fistfighting, and traded blows once during filming. When the movie came out, even though it has hardly any plot (other than surviving the final disaster scene), it was a success. Good thing, because RKO was financially reeling, and would in two years be bought by a rubber company and by the end the of the decade was the first of the Majors (the big 5 Hollywood studios) to completely go under.
So, don't expect much and you'll find lots of little things to enjoy. And maybe they'll get the Technicolor goosed up properly in a re-release someday, complete with 3D effects.
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