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Wetbacks (1956)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 4 May 1956 (USA)
About to lose his sole possession, his boat, for lack of payments, ex- Coast Guardsman Jim Benson takes a gamble on a fishing charter and removes the boat from the dock despite a sheriff's ... See full summary »


Hank McCune


Edward D. Wood Jr. (as Pete LaRoche)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lloyd Bridges ... Jim Benson
Nancy Gates ... Sally Parker
Barton MacLane ... Karl Shanks
John Hoyt ... Steve Bodine
Harold Peary ... Juan Ortega
Nacho Galindo ... Alfonso
Robert Keys Robert Keys ... Reeser
David Colmans David Colmans ... Pedro
Salvador Baguez Salvador Baguez ... Mexican Policeman
Jose Gonzales-Gonzales Jose Gonzales-Gonzales ... Wetback (as Jose Gonzales Gonzales)
Joe Dominguez Joe Dominguez
Louis Jean Heydt ... Coast Guard Comdr. Randall
Roy Gordon Roy Gordon ... Hoppy
Scott Douglas Scott Douglas ... Immigration Officer
I. Stanford Jolley ... Fred


About to lose his sole possession, his boat, for lack of payments, ex- Coast Guardsman Jim Benson takes a gamble on a fishing charter and removes the boat from the dock despite a sheriff's seizure order. But Jim finds himself with a loudmouthed drunk, Shanks, and his companion, Sally. To avoid paying for the fishing excursion, Shanks stages a fight with Jim and, when Jim puts him ashore at a small Mexican port, Shanks takes off, stranding both Jim (who is out of gas as well as cash) and Sally. The two begin to become "friends in need" and are put up by Alfonso, local innkeeper who is a friend of Jim's. But the town is the base of operations for a gang, led by Bodine and Ortega, who smuggle illegal aliens into California for a profit. Learning of Jim's plight, they offer him money to run 'just one' shipment of these 'wetbacks' across the border - then blackmail Jim to continue working for them. Sally tries to persuade him to tell the police, but he is too afraid and plans to run away, ... Written by Rich Wannen <RichWannen@worldnet.att.net>

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BORDER TRAFFIC IN HUMAN LIVES! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Crime | Drama


Not Rated






Release Date:

4 May 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Menschenjagd im Pazifik See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pacific Coast Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Remake of The Breaking Point (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

Some familiar faces, but a trivial film.
24 April 2002 | by youroldpaljimSee all my reviews

Jim Benson(Lloyd Bridges) is an ex-coast guardsman who runs a charter boat and finds himself down on his luck when he can't make payments on his boat. After taking an obnoxious fisherman named Shanks (Barton MacLane) and his girlfriend Sally(Nancy Gates)fishing off the waters of Mexico, Shanks runs off without paying him and leaves him and Sally stranded in a Mexican port with no money or gas. Benson then is tricked in helping a gangster named Bodine (John Hoyt) into using his boat to smuggle illegal aliens into the United States.

This film looks to have been filmed very quickly on a very small budget. The low budget shows. Watching this film I couldn't help but get the feeling most of the scenes were done in one take. In one scene a Mexican boy named Pedro who is a friend of our hero, is roughed up by some gangsters who are looking for Benson. We see the gangsters beating up the kid and Benson running to his rescue and carrying the kid away safely. This whole scene is shown entirely in one single far shot. Then there is the car chase scene where Benson sets a trap sending the bad guys car off into a ditch. We never see the car swerve off the road into the ditch, we only see it after its in the ditch and then the bad guys get out.

WETBACKS has fairly exciting final confrontation with the bad guys. Yet, despite a pretty Nancy Gates, the presence of John Hoyt and Lloyd Bridges, WETBACKS is pretty a trivial film. Its another one of those films that I don't think anyone would call good or recall with any fondness, but where nothing is really done bad enough to make anyone strongly dis-like it either.

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