During the Korean War, Matt saves the life of his buddy, Vince, who promises that someday he'll repay Matt by cutting him in on a million dollars. Eight years later Matt is in the midst of a rapidly disintegrating marriage to Nina, a man-hungry alcoholic. Vince suddenly reappears for a reunion with Matt, telling him that enemies of a Central American dictator have hijacked $3.5 million, and that he knows how he can get hold of the money and collect a large reward he'll share with Matt if he will help recover the money. Matt is skeptical, but after a particularly violent quarrel in which he leaves his wife, he agrees to go along with Vince, provided there is no gunplay.Written by
Based on the 1958 novel "Soft Touch" by John D. McDonald. See more »
A man without a conscience is saved by a war hero...and for what purpose?
This is a black and white film noir that focuses on a relationship between two wartime buddies. Matt Jameson (played by Jeffrey Hunter) is a true war hero who risked his own life to save Vince Biskay (played by David Janssen) who was lying wounded on a beachfront with his hand partially shot off. Vince promises his hero Matt that if they make it back to the U.S.A. and if he ever gets rich he will split his wealth with his savior Matt 50/50.
The two wartime buddies do make it back after the war is over and our hero Matt marries his bosses daughter Nina Jameson (played by Stella Stevens). Over the next few years Matt realizes that his wife Nina is a tramp who drinks all day long and sleeps around on him. Matt also comes to realize that his father-in-law encouraged Matt marry his daughter Nina so that he and his daughter could bask in her marrying a true war hero. Unfortunately both Nina and her father are unscrupulous users of anyone and everyone, especially when it comes to using and abusing Matt.
Now Matt has fallen for his secretary Liz Addams (played by Elaine Devry) but because his wife has put him into so much debt with her reckless spending and non-stop boozing Matt believes he is stuck in a loveless marriage with his father-in-law hanging his unpaid debt to him over his head to stay in his loveless marriage.
In walks Matt's old wartime buddy Vince Biskay with a questionable scheme that will make the two wartime buddies a half million dollars each for just a couple of hours work by picking up a diplomat at the airport who happens to be carrying a steel suitcase with $3.5 million dollars. Now Matt has his reservations about getting involved with his buddy Vince and his plan but Vince assures him it is on the up and up and there will be no gun play. Matt's girlfriend Liz Addams pleads with Matt not to proceed with the plan and just leave the city with her although Matt is broke but with his dignity still intact.
Matt decides out of desperation in Vince's plan that will see him be financially stable enough to leave his wife Nina and move on with a new life with his girlfriend Liz. The film does get very interesting in the latter half of the story and the audience will be able to guess what happens next, but it is not easy to predict what happens to the four main characters in this story. Two characters who are nothing but users and liars, Nina and Vince, and two characters with a moral compass that knows right from wrong in Matt and Liz.
There are twists and turns in this film to keep your attention in this film noir classic. I do wish it would have provided a more enticing and suspenseful musical score but sometimes we can't have it all. I give it a 7 out of 10 rating.
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