Director Rudolph Maté’s 1953 romantic film noir crime drama provides a good change of pace for its star Tony Curtis, who wears suits for a change, as a hood called Eddie Darrow who is hired by Philadelphia mobster Barney Pendleton (Alan Dexter) to go to Macao to escort mobster’s widow Christine Lawrence (Joanne Dru) and her evidence back home to America.
Christine is Eddie’s former lover and the widow of a former associate of Barney. In Macao, Eddie saves the life of casino owner Justin Keit (Lyle Bettger), then finds that Christine is engaged to marry him.
Witten by William Sackheim and Gil Doud, from Sackheim’s Story, this boasts a busy, complex plot with plenty of double dealing and a decently played will they-won’t they? romance between the stars.
Even if it is still not much more than a humble Fifties-style hoodlum action thriller, the young Curtis’s appealing presence enlivens this engaging escapist adventure. Nevertheless, it is humble in a good way. This forgotten film is well worth a look.
Also in the cast are Lyle Bettger, Marvin Miller, Victor Sen Yung, Peter Mamakos, Mai Tai Sing, Howard Chuman, Weaver Levy, Alan Dexter, Al Ferguson, David Sharpe, Reginald Sheffield, Harry Lauter and Alphonse Martell.
Ted J Richmond shoots in gritty black and white.
© Derek Winnert 2017 Classic Movie Review 4976
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