World for Ransom (1954) - Rotten Tomatoes

World for Ransom (1954)

World for Ransom





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

World for Ransom Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

World for Ransom is an unofficial extension of the popular 1950s TV series China Smith. Most of the Smith personnel, including star Dan Duryea, director Robert Aldrich and cinematographer Joseph Biroc, are on hand for this inexpensive but well-mounted melodrama. Duryea plays a mercenary adventurer who gets mixed up in a scheme by foreign spies (who wear baggy suits and speak with Slavic accents) to kidnap a nuclear scientist. Actually it isn't the whole world that's held for ransom--only the city of Singapore, which the spies threaten with nuclear annihilation. World for Ransom star Dan Duryea is solidly supported by old pros Gene Lockhart, Patric Knowles, Reginald Denny and Nigel Bruce.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Lindsay Hardy
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 20, 2015
Allied Artists

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Dan Duryea
as Mike Callahan
Patric Knowles
as Julian March
Gene Lockhart
as Alexis Pederas
Reginald Denny
as Maj. Bone
Nigel Bruce
as Gov. Coutts
Marian Carr
as Frennessey March
Douglas Dumbrille
as Inspector McCollum
Lou Nova
as Guzik
Arthur Shields
as Sean O'Connor
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for World for Ransom

Critic Reviews for World for Ransom

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 16, 2004
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Nervy burlesque of Hustonian exotic thrillers

Full Review… | January 11, 2011

Fascinating early Aldrich, visually creative.

Full Review… | August 9, 2007
Classic Film and Television

A marvelously understated film noir that parodies all those big-budget spy/adventure films.

Full Review… | March 16, 2004
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for World for Ransom


Dan Duryea usually excels in his roles, but in "World for Ransom," he doesn't seem to know what to do. His performance is wildly uneven, but that stems mostly from the fact that "World for Ransom" was basically made from the scraps of "China Smith," a television series also starring Duryea. It just doesn't seem like a whole lot of effort was put into the film's creation, and that's why it comes off as an uninspired, shallow piece of work. That being said, I found myself strangely enjoying a handful of its sequences, most of which came near its end, and even though Duryea's performance is a mixed bag, there's more good to it than bad. Overall, "World for Ransom" is forgettable because of its lack of ambition and creativity, but it does have some redeeming qualities.

Stephen Earnest
Stephen Earnest

Super Reviewer


Aldrich evokes some killer ambience, particularly in his depiction of the seedy underbelly of Singapore. Otherwise, this is a dud. A weak, unimaginative script that fails to exploit its cold war premise, some humor that falls flat, very little real tension, and a lousy cast. Dan Duryea makes a terrible leading man, his reedy voice and smarmy demeanor are too irritating. No one else is that good in it, either. A short movie, but one that feels longer than it should.

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