When he learns that a gangster has taken over his nightclub and murdered his partner, returning WW2 hero Joe Miracle steals the money from the club's safe and hides in a settlement home, while the mob is on his tail.
In this spoof of the story The Maltese Falcon (1941) is based on, a double-crossing woman, the two-timing P.I. she hired, the corpulent "empress of crime", and a gentleman thief are all after a legendary priceless eighth-century ram's horn.
Child bride Claudia Naughton has made life difficult for her husband David because she can't stand living so far away from her mother. She's also afraid her husband doesn't find her ... See full summary »
When his son Andy is kidnapped and held for ransom, David Stannard liquidates his assets to meet the half-million dollar demand. A casual remark by newspaper reporter Charlie Telfer makes him change his mind. Despite the pleas from his wife Edith and brother Al, and the resultant condemnation of the press and public, Stannard goes on a nation-wide television program, displays the money and warns the kidnapper that not one cent will be paid for ransom; instead the money will be used to track down the kidnapper if Andy isn't returned unharmed. The police then find the boy's blood-stained shirt.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
The verse from the Bible Jesse says to Dave as he's holding him on the stairs is 2 Samuel 18:33. At the end of the film, Jesse recites Luke 15:24. See more »
When Dave hugs his son out by the "fort" in the backyard, a shadow of the boom microphone can clearly be seen on the leaf-covered fence behind them, to the right. See more »
Police Chief Jim Backett:
You've seen it yourself. The biggest man in the country openly bartering with kidnappers, and the voting public wouldn't have it any other way, even though the kid were already dead from the start.
See more »
This film was more or less taken from a famous midwest case of a boy kidnapped from a rich auto dealer's family in K. C., Mo. He was taken from a private school by a woman in a nurses uniform and the press in K. C. did hold off on the story until the ransom had been paid. The kidnappers were caught within 4 days, and the little boys body was found soon after. He had been killed the day he was kidnapped.
Now to the film. The point of the story is that it is 50-50 whether you get the victim back or not. Glenn Ford as the father who makes his decision to not pay but offer the whole ransom as a bounty on the kidnappers head, was very pertinent in 1956. There had been other cases like this, but the K.C. case was so brutal that it made headlines all over America for months.
As a woman who is old enough to have read about the case, and seen it on the new medium of TV for months, while it was going on, this film is heartbreaking and to me, almost perfect.
The mother and father and their anguish, the servants, who love the family, and the police and other people who interact with the family, and the company people, all are first rate. It is a slice of life as lived in an affluent mid-American family crisis, and all the principle actors are fine. The criticism I have read here does not stand up because the film is a thoughtful and serious look at a dilemma and not a flashy showcase for action fans. 9/10
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