5.8/10
294
7 user 20 critic

World for Ransom (1954)

In Singapore, a private detective and the British authorities are on the trail of a crime syndicate that kidnaps a nuclear physicist with the aim of selling him to the highest bidder.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writer:

Lindsay Hardy
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | War | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In 1941, Greek resistance entrusts an American journalist with a Greek double-agent secret list that must reach London and must not fall into Nazi hands.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Stanley Baker, Elisabeth Müller
The Big Knife (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Hollywood actor Charles Castle is pressured by his studio boss into a criminal cover-up to protect his valuable career.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Jack Palance, Ida Lupino, Wendell Corey
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

At a Mexican ranch, fugitive O'Malley and pursuing Sheriff Stribling agree to help rancher Breckenridge drive his herd into Texas where Stribling could legally arrest O'Malley, but Breckenridge's wife complicates things.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Rock Hudson, Kirk Douglas, Dorothy Malone
Black Angel (1946)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Crime | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When Kirk Bennett is convicted of a singer's murder, his wife tries to prove him innocent...aided by the victim's ex-husband.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Dan Duryea, June Vincent, Peter Lorre
Apache (1954)
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Refusing to let himself be re-settled on a Florida reservation, Massai, an Apache warrior, escapes his captors and returns to his homeland to become a peaceful farmer.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jean Peters, John McIntire
Autumn Leaves (1956)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Millicent Wetherby is a middle-aged woman whose life is devoid of love and affection. Millicent's solitary existence changes when she encounters Burt Hansen a charismatic younger man. As ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Joan Crawford, Cliff Robertson, Vera Miles
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Set in the Depression, a gang of half-witted small-time hoods led by Slim Grissom kidnap heiress Barbara Blandish and Slim proceeds to fall in love with her. Remake of the British film No ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Kim Darby, Scott Wilson, Tony Musante
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A dictatorial film director (Peter Finch) hires an unknown actress (Kim Novak) to play the lead role in a planned movie biography of a late, great Hollywood star.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Kim Novak, Peter Finch, Ernest Borgnine
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Sex, torture and betrayal in Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot, leader of the Hebrews, believes his people can co-exist with the Sodomites, a disastrous decision.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Stewart Granger, Pier Angeli, Stanley Baker
Attack (1956)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1945, an American Infantry company sets up an artillery observation post but tensions between Captain Cooney and Lieutenant Costa run high.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Jack Palance, Lee Marvin, Eddie Albert
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The struggle of a lady's garment workers' organization to unionize a New York clothing sweat shop; the owner of which is determined to keep the union out of his business at any cost.

Directors: Vincent Sherman, Robert Aldrich
Stars: Lee J. Cobb, Kerwin Mathews, Gia Scala
The Choirboys (1977)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A group of Los Angeles cops decide to take off some of the pressures of their jobs by engaging in various forms of after hours debauchery.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Charles Durning, Louis Gossett Jr., Perry King
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dan Duryea ... Mike Callahan / Corrigan
Gene Lockhart ... Alexis Pederas
Patric Knowles ... Julian March
Reginald Denny ... Maj. Ian Bone
Nigel Bruce ... Gov. Sir Charles Coutts
Marian Carr ... Frennessey March
Arthur Shields ... Sean O'Connor
Douglass Dumbrille ... Insp. McCollum
Carmen D'Antonio ... Dancer
Keye Luke ... Wong
Clarence Lung Clarence Lung ... Johnny Chan
Lou Nova Lou Nova ... Guzik
Edit

Storyline

Director Robert Aldrich, one year before his post-modern Noir masterpiece Kiss Me, Deadly (1955), did his best with this atmospheric China Seas melodrama. Should chanteuse Frenesie (Marion Carr) stay glued to her weak-kneed but handsome husband (Patric Knowles) or wise up and take what tough but reliable Irish soldier of fortune Callahan (Dan Duryea) has to offer? The answer comes only after sterling character actors Gene Lockhart (evil mastermind), Nigel Bruce (colonial governor), Douglas Dumbrille (military cop) and once-handsome Reginald Denny (ditto) squabble and planify to restore order. Bonus: lovely brogue-wielding Arthur Shields, younger brother of icon Barry Fitzgerald, as the hydrogen bomb expert whose kidnap fuels the intrigue. Bad guys vs. good with the sublime, sweet-hearted, tough-tongued Duryea playing both ends against the middle. His face like carved rare roast beef, his hair slicked back, eternal glint in his eye, Duryea wriggles through sewers, sprints around enemy ... Written by Ernie Bakeswell

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He was lured kiss-by-kiss into an incredible plot to destroy the world !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 January 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alerte à Singapour See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$120,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Plaza Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director Robert Aldrich, the screenplay was actually written by the blacklisted Hugo Butler, using Lindsay Hardy as a front. See more »

Goofs

When Callahan is in the March's apartment with Mrs. March, she claims he left her when they were in Shanghai. Earlier, the split supposedly occurred in Singapore when Callahan shipped out for the war. Shanghai seems even less likely than Singapore as Shanghai was occupied by the Japanese in 1937, nearly 4 years before Singapore fell. See more »

Quotes

Wong: Take a chance, Mr. Callahan. Love is a white bird, yet you cannot buy her.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A hampered attempt to get a little edgy, pushing the Asian themes just after Korea
20 July 2011 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

World for Ransom (1954)

This movie is a Robert Aldrich strain. It's not quite raw enough or exotic enough to rise above its low budget, but it's not for lack of trying. One problem is several so-so actors. But the great asset is the one actor who's pushing his limits, not as a film noir lead, but as a guy lost in the shuffle around him and a little at a loss. Dan Duryea. If you don't know him, this isn't the best place to get a sense of his unique, slightly languid, nice boy, sarcastic style. He's wonderful in his own way. And he's the core of the movie.

We are in Singapore. There is an impossibly convoluted plot about hydrogen bomb secrets and a group of thugs out to steal either the secrets or the bomb itself. The chief bad guy is a little improbable, the great character actor Gene Lockhart (the judge in the classic "Miracle on 34th Street"). He's just not bad enough, or interesting enough. One of the good guys is another character actor, the peculiar and wonderful Nigel Bruce (who you might remember in Hitchcock's "Suspicion" with Cary Grant).. The lead female (Marian Carr) isn't quite a femme fatale or a steamy love interest. She's blonde, of course, and good, overall, but she isn't given much to do.

It doesn't mean much to us to know this but this is basically an extension of a television series along the same lines (same sets, same characters) starring Duryea. It has better production values, I hear (probably due to Aldrich) but it's still hampered by its formulaic television roots, for sure.

Oddly for Aldrich the camera-work is often very stable. Everything looks good, great sets and light, but it's static. And the plot keeps barreling along, adding new minor characters from the administration toward the end (just when we've had enough minor characters). There is drama, and the whole affair is slightly raw and slightly exotic. And there are steamy smokey nights and impersonations and cheesy nightclub acts and of course, the bomb, looming every so subtly.

So it's not half bad, Duryea making the most of his role. Could have been great, but a lot of little pieces are not falling into place.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed