Hell's Half Acre Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ March 26, 2011
Where did this come from? Elsa Lanchester, Keye Luke, Philip Ahn, Marie Windsor, Jesse White -- a great cast. And actually filmed in 1950s Honolulu. I love seeing those images from so long ago now. The title's a little misleading, however. Yes, there was such a place in downtown Honolulu -- roughly what is now Chinatown. But very little of the substance of this story actually takes place there or portrays anything nearly as gritty as the real life people and activities that gave the area its infamous name. Kind of a sanitized half acre of hell. But I give them credit for actually going in to Chinatown and shooting the scenes they did. You'll recognize some of that whole Hotel Street milieu if you've ever seen the original Hawaii Five-O shows set in that area of town. Waikiki was already very different, though, by the time Jack Lord started cleaning up the streets. It's good to see it so 1950s underbuilt. What a difference a decade made.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ November 11, 2010
Good cast, mediocre film.
September 23, 2012
Great variation on the film noir formula. Perfect casting and unusually forward thinking in its use of Asian actors, even an interracial romance. Wendell Corey is underrated as an actor.
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