6.6/10
207
14 user 5 critic

The Bottom of the Bottle (1956)

Approved | | Drama | 19 May 1956 (West Germany)
In the border town of Nogales, Arizona, a wealthy attorney and rancher is solicited by his escaped convict brother in aiding him to cross the border into Mexico where his wife and children are living in poverty.

Director:

Henry Hathaway

Writers:

Georges Simenon (novel), Sydney Boehm
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Van Johnson ... Donald Martin / Eric Bell
Joseph Cotten ... Pat 'P.M.' Martin
Ruth Roman ... Nora Martin
Jack Carson ... Hal Breckinridge
Margaret Hayes ... Lil Breckinridge
Bruce Bennett ... Brand
Brad Dexter ... Stanley Miller
Peggy Knudsen ... Ellen Miller
Jim Davis ... George Cady
Margaret Lindsay ... Hannah Cady
Nancy Gates ... Mildred Martin
Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez ... Luis Romero (as Gonzales-Gonzales)
John Lee ... Jenkins
Tod Griffin Tod Griffin ... Rancher (as Ted Griffin)
Ernestine Barrier Ernestine Barrier ... Lucy Grant
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Storyline

Patrick Martin (Joseph Cotten), known as P.M., is a wealthy attorney and rancher big-man-in-town in the border town of Nogales, Arizona. He returns home to find his brother Donald (Van Johnson)hiding in his garage. A former drunkard, Donald had been sent to the penitentiary five years previously for killing a man in a barroom brawl. It was in self-defense but P.M. hadn't defended his brother and he was convicted. Donald has escaped and wants his brother to help him across the Santa Cruz River into the Mexico-side Nogales, where his wife (Shirley Patterson as Shawn Smith)and children (Kim Charney and Sandy Deschler) are in dire straits. The straits get even dier when P.M. tells him the river is flooded and it will be days before anyone can cross. And P.M. is all a'twitter because his wife Nora (Ruth Roman), whom he married after Donald had gone to prison, doesn't know about his jail-bird brother. He introduces Donald to Nora and the rest of his Cadillac Cowboy and ranch society friends... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's brother against brother ... stripping the southwest's ranch society of its bought respectability !

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 May 1956 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Other Man See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,695,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (optical prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The chimes on the doorbell to Joseph Cotten (Pat Martin)'s house play "How Dry I Am". Quite fitting considering Van Johnson (Donald)'s drinking problem and the "lushy" household guests that tempt him. See more »

Quotes

Pat 'P.M.' Martin: I'd appreciate if you'd keep my inquiry confidential.
Luis Romero: But naturally, mi amigo. Naturally.
See more »

Soundtracks

I Had the Craziest Dream
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when the men are playing poker at the party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I just didn't 'get it' - because I didn't care about the characters
29 July 2009 | by rooster_davisSee all my reviews

On the surface Bottom of the Bottle seems like it could be really interesting. I like movies that show the middle 50's, there's a really nifty house with a kitchen right out of a mid 50's design book, it is beautifully shot with some nice scenery outdoors.

The key for me to really enjoy a movie is when I get hooked into the characters. I have to be interested in them, worried about them, find them likable or appealing even if in a sinister way. This movie fell flat for me because frankly I didn't much care for any of the characters. I guess I felt a little sorry for Ruth Roman, the wife who wanted children and her husband (Joseph Cotten) wouldn't 'give' her any... but Joseph Cotten just isn't the kind of person you can generate much warmth for. He's about as appealing as a first-aid cabinet. I like Van Johnson - usually - but his character here is a jerk even when he's sober. While his love and concern for his family makes him seem a little more human, I just couldn't empathize with him. He and Joseph Cotten, brothers in the story, never seemed very brotherly to me and between them it's hard to say which one I cared less about.

What happened to the horses when they crossed the river? I guess they were both just washed away and nobody cared? I didn't like that. They were Cotten's horses; the least he could have done was ask 'are they all right' and look pained when he found out what happened, but not even a mention.

If you want to watch a movie that shows some dysfunctional family life in the middle 50's including people battling the bottle and other demons, I would suggest the real gem 'No Down Payment'. I think it's ten times the movie that this one is. For me, this one is a yawn. If I hadn't been exercising during the time it was on it would have been a total waste of my time. I'll give it five stars because it's not BAD bad, but it's just not that good either. It's just a so-what movie.


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