6.5/10
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14 user 6 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 ... 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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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

Donald Martin: Don't let that beer worry you. I've become a soft-drink man.
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Soundtracks

Give Me the Simple Life
(uncredited)
Music by Rube Bloom
Played as the guests arrive at the Breckenridge party
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User Reviews

 
A Gem Without the 'Fancy Package'
28 November 2005 | by impsruleSee all my reviews

Woke up in the early-AM with the opening credits to this film just rolling on the screen. Tired as I still was, I couldn't take my eyes off of it and watched the whole thing. Beautifully-shot. Script sensitively handles both Van Johnson's character's alcoholism and the familial-strife at its roots - very adept for it's day. Capably acted by all.

And I agree with previous comments: Ruth Roman is someone whose career is deserving of a serious re-visiting. She rarely seemed to get choice parts, but always managed to impress. Indeed, some of the films she was in may have been bad but from what I've seen, SHE was never the reason.

Here is yet another example of a good, solid 1950's film that is wrongfully ignored/neglected for the simple reason that it doesn't star "Marilyn," "Marlon," or "Audrey".


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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)
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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
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