6.5/10
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12 user 10 critic

Hell on Frisco Bay (1955)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 January 1956 (USA)
After 5 years in prison, ex-cop Steve Rollins is paroled and searches for the San Francisco mobsters who framed him for manslaughter.

Director:

Frank Tuttle

Writers:

Sydney Boehm (screenplay), Martin Rackin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Ladd ... Steve Rollins
Edward G. Robinson ... Victor Amato
Joanne Dru ... Marcia Rollins
William Demarest ... Dan Bianco
Paul Stewart ... Joe Lye
Perry Lopez ... Mario Amato
Fay Wray ... Kay Stanley
Renata Vanni Renata Vanni ... Anna Amato
Nestor Paiva ... Louis Fiaschetti
Stanley Adams ... Hammy
Willis Bouchey ... Police Lt. Paul Neville
Peter Hansen ... Detective Connors (as Peter Hanson)
Anthony Caruso ... Sebastian Pasmonick
Peter J. Votrian Peter J. Votrian ... George Pasmonick (as Peter Votrian)
George J. Lewis ... Father Larocca
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Storyline

When ex-cop Steve Rollins is released from San Quentin after five years, his only thoughts are of revenge on the men who framed him for manslaughter. Back in San Francisco, his quest for the truth brings him up against ruthless waterfront gang boss Victor Amato. Written by Ian Harries <ih@doc.ic.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It was time to get even - or get killed ! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

28 January 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Darkest Hour See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound System) (magnetic prints)| Mono (optical prints)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The interior police station set is the same one used for Rebel Without A Cause (1955) which was released 2 months earlier. See more »

Quotes

Joe Lye: Think the old man will be getting here pretty soon?
Victor Amato: Why? You got something better to do?
Joe Lye: I didn't say so.
Victor Amato: That broken-down movie star waiting outside?
Joe Lye: She's retired, not broken-down.
Victor Amato: Sensitive about that tomato, ain't ya?
Joe Lye: Oh, Kay's alright.
Victor Amato: Good-looking?
Joe Lye: So-so.
Victor Amato: That where you were? Her apartment?
[...]
See more »

Soundtracks

It Had To Be You
(1924) (uncredited)
Music by Isham Jones
Words by Gus Kahn
Sung by Joanne Dru in the nightclub (dubbed by Bonnie Lou Williams)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fighting on San Francisco Bay
28 September 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In Hell on Frisco Bay Alan Ladd who also produced this film plays an ex-cop who's served five years on a manslaughter rap for which he was wrongly convicted. Of course as in the case of noir films he's on a mission to find the real killer and clear himself.

It doesn't take him long to sniff out a trail that leads to San Francisco underworld boss Edward G. Robinson. Robinson is easily the best in the cast. He's as malevolent as he was in Little Caesar or at least in Key Largo.

It's not that Hell on Frisco Bay is a bad film, but it's all so routine for Alan Ladd. He would not transition into character roles as he hit his forties. His legion fans which were gradually dwindling by this time still wanted their guy in action hero parts.

He's not terribly animated here. I wouldn't have been surprised if he was ill during the making of this. In a way that might have helped the believability factor. Five years in jail would have given him a certain prison pallor to his complexion.

Alan Ladd liked having friends around and the cast here is filled with players who were close personal friends and/or co-workers from his Paramount days. They include, Anthony Caruso, George J. Lewis, Peter Hansen, Perry Lopez, William Demarest. Look for young Rod Taylor as a contract killer and Jayne Mansfield in her screen debut as a bimbo.

Joanne Dru plays the estranged Mrs. Ladd and was probably grateful to be in a modern setting. Paul Stewart gives a memorable performance as Robinson's chief henchman along with his lady love Fay Wray who played a former movie star who was keeping company with Stewart. Their relationship with Robinson is the key to the story.

Cinemascope and noir usually don't mix, but in this case with the final scene being a police chase and fight with speedboats across San Francisco bay, cinemascope helped greatly.

Fans of both Alan Ladd and Edward G. Robinson will enjoy this film.


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