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World for Ransom 1954
iMDB Rating: 5.7
Date Released : 31 January 1954
Genre : Drama, Film-Noir
Stars : Dan Duryea, Gene Lockhart, Patric Knowles, Reginald Denny. Made by the same production set-up on the same lot that was producing the 1953-54 "China Smith/Captain China" TV series that starred Dan Duryea as soldier-of-fortune China Smith, using many of the same players that were regulars on the TV series, including Douglass Dumbrille, as head of the British Intelligence, and the same "Singapore", British Colony colonials and China sets used on the series...." />
Movie Quality : BluRay
Format : MKV
Size : 930 MB
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Made by the same production set-up on the same lot that was producing the 1953-54 "China Smith/Captain China" TV series that starred Dan Duryea as soldier-of-fortune China Smith, using many of the same players that were regulars on the TV series, including Douglass Dumbrille, as head of the British Intelligence, and the same "Singapore", British Colony colonials and China sets used on the series. In this instance, they had the good grace to actually make a "new" film rather than just paste two of the TV episodes together and sending it out as a "new" movie as many of the TV production companies were doing at the time, i.e., the producers of the "Ramar of the Jungle" and Guy Madison's "Wild Bill Hickok" series. And changed the role names of Duryea and Dumbrille, but the Duryea character is still "China Smith." And hired a good director. This time out China Smith...uh.....Mike Callahan (Dan Duryea), because of his friendship with Julian March (Patric Knowles),becomes involved with a ...
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Very cheap but not without its pleasures
Robert Aldrich's 1954 quickie World for Ransom is far from essential viewing, but if you do find yourself in the same room when it's on TV, chances are you'll find yourself sticking with it despite its faults. A cheap studio backlot picture until the finale when the film actually goes outdoors (though not as far as Singapore), it doesn't always make a virtue of its economy and a couple of the bit players are strikingly dreadful actors but within its claustrophobic sets it does throw in a few memorable visuals and it's satisfyingly undemanding supporting feature fare. Offering a rare lead for Dan Duryea as a soldier of fortune in the far East suspected of involvement in the kidnap of a nuclear scientist, the in-jokes around his 50s China Smith TV show are all but incomprehensible today and the banter isn't as witty as the writers think (and the cast know it and play on the fact), yet that lends it a strangeness that makes it stand out from other 50s poverty row pictures. While Marion Carr is more than a tad awkward as the not-so-fatale femme, the supporting cast isn't without merit, with veterans Nigel Bruce, Gene Lockhart, Reginald Denny, Douglas Dumbrille and Arthur "cheaper than Barry Fitzgerald" Shields adding a few familiar faces while the most interesting performance comes from Patric Knowles: not because he's giving an outstanding display of great acting but because, to all intents and purposes, he's imitating his old Adventures of Robin Hood star Errol Flynn, and doing so rather well as an ex-British officer who has gone down in the world and is keeping very bad company. It's utterly disposable stuff, yet strangely watchable with it.