Director: John Farrow (Richard Fleischer, uncredited)
Cast (in credits order):
Robert Mitchum ... Dan Milner
Jane Russell ... Lenore Brent
Vincent Price ... Mark Cardigan
Tim Holt ... Bill Lusk
Charles McGraw ... Thompson
Marjorie Reynolds ... Helen Cardigan
Raymond Burr ... Nick Ferraro
Jim Backus ... Myron Winton
Plot synopsis: Dan Milner is a down-on-his-luck gambler who agrees to travel to a Mexican resort to settle a debt. There he meets songbird-on-the-make, Lenore Brent, who is trying to land married movie star Mark Cardgian. Meanwhile, Milner discovers that gangster Nick Ferraro is behind his Mexican 'vacation' and has very sinister designs on him.
Verdict: Mitchum and Russell (in their first on-screen pairing) make a sexy, bantering duo, and Burr's gangster is one of his finest on-screen heavies, but the comic hijinks of Price as a hammy actor undercut the noir-ish suspense.
Behind the Scenes: Production on this little film dragged on for more than a year thanks to the meddling of RKO head Howard Hughes. Richard Fleischer took over from John Farrow after Hughes wanted more comedy and more action. Part of Hughes' tinkering involves more comedic scenes for Price and the klutzy cops who go to Mitchum's rescue. As detailed in Fleischer's biography, Hughes disliked the actor playing Ferraro, so the part was recast and all his scenes re-shot. Filming was nearly complete with the new actor when Raymond Burr suddenly showed up on the set to tell the director he'd been cast as Ferraro. Cast and crew had no choice but to start all over again. To mark his anniversary on the film, Mitchum took to drink. For more on that, see the Bad Boy page.
If You Liked This Movie, You Might Also Like: Macao, The Big Steal, The Third Man
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