Time: 120 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
SYNOPSIS: A deported crime boss turns to a down-on-his-luck gambler, Dan Milner who's been coerced and bribed, to help him secretly return to the United States. Dan doesn't know the full plan, but once he reaches his Mexican destination, with the lovely Lenore at his side, it becomes quickly clear that his very life is at stake.
BOTTOM LINE: While this film begins like almost every other film-noir, it takes a comic twist in the middle thanks to the arrogant, yet humorous performance by Price that kind of upsets the dangerous mood its' clearly established. If you're able to go with the flow, then you're in for quite a ride. Though unnecessarily convoluted, the basic plot has Milner trying to escape a bad deal he was forced into by men he doesn't even know, while trying to woo the lovely Lenore and stay alive in the bargain. That she's trying to scam film actor Mark Cardigan (Price) into marrying her is just a minor detail. They all become fast friends, as only people trapped at a resort can do, which becomes vital to Milner's survival.
The middle is a muddle with murder and machinations, yet aflame with lust when Mitchum and Russell come together. They are perfectly cast and the chemistry shows. Once the crime boss Ferraro (Burr) shows up the violence begins and all bets are off. Burr is brutally intense as a man willing to kill anyone who tries to block his path back to the States. The final third of the film has Milner in the crazy clutches of Ferraro while Cardigan uses his celebrity, ingenuity and extreme skill with a gun to attempt to rescue him. It's a sequence that goes from fierce to funny to frightening and back again, which makes it a bit too long, taking an edge off the excitement. Due to the talented cast, each section works even though the overall tone is somewhat helter skelter. A treat for those who don't mind a little fun with their film noir.