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I'm not a fan of Taylor, but Price, Laughton and the beautiful Gardner more than make up for him.
Okay film noir that features an Ava Gardner is amazingly gorgeous in a femme fatale role in a story about federal agent Robert Taylor investigating missing planes south of the border. Gardner plays the wife of the chief suspect and Taylor soon finds himself falling for Gardner, but isn't so sure it's genuine or if she's manipulating him. A big complaints is the weirdly written narration for Taylor, who talks as if you were his characters, "You play it all wrong..." or "You were thinking about her..." It was just weird. However, besides the gorgeous Gardner you get Charles Laughton and Vincent Price in deliciously hammy roles. And according to IMDB Vincente Minnelli directed the memorable pyrotechnical climax scene.
A fun film for film noir fans. Taylor plays a fed officer undercover in Central America looking to disrupt a black market military equipment ring. It is told through Taylor's voiceover. It has the classic film noir reflective voiceover along with the exotic location for the time. Taylor is directed to pursue two suspects, Ava Gardner's character and her husband. Taylor and Gardner fall for each other. Charles Laughton and Vince Price play the villains. Laughton steals the show as the most developed character. The film stands out from today's crop because it still carries the conflict of honor and greed. The location and mood make it an enjoyable film even if the plot is lacking. The final sequence in the midst of the island's festival and fireworks was old fashioned fun.
Superior noir with fabulous performances--Laughton Steals the Film!!
Intrigue in Central America where Robert Taylor is sent in to investigate a smuggler. This would be an easy case except for one thing, Ava Gardner is the wife of the smuggler and when you look like Ava there are going to be complications. Stellar supporting cast with Vincent Price and Charles Laughton playing a couple of bad guys to chilling effect. As with most movies of this type the villains carry the movie however when they are not on screen the movie losses its personality.
Great cast in good crime drama. Ava is gorgeous and sultry, Taylor a little less stiff than usual but this belongs to Charles Laughton and to a lesser extent Vincent Price as the villains. Good old fashioned film making.
I loved seeing Price as the bad guy in this movie, he seems so nice and unassuming in the beginning that you think he's just an innocent bystander, but things quickly turn dark. Gardner is beautiful, and gives a magnificent performance as the wife that the detective falls in love with. The rest of the cast is great too. But what I didn't like about it was that annoying voice over for most of the movie, it was unnecessary. Plus the story is slightly confusing for the most part, but in the end I understood enough to like the movie.
A federal agent (Robert Taylor) is sent to Central America in pursuit of stolen aircraft engines being sold to highest bidder. While there he begins to fall for the wife (Ava Gardner) of one of the men involved in the operation. The Bribe is a crime thriller with mystery elements. The film actually begins about 2/3rds through and shows us the events leading up to that point via the federal agent narrating. As we follow him around we get lots of insight the character via narration as he struggles to find the men responsible while balancing his desire to be with Elizabeth. The plot and style are nothing groundbreaking but there are lots of good twists and turns. It also helps a lot having actors of the caliber of Robert Taylor,Charles Laughton and Vincent Price spitting out strong dialogue, which really elevates the film a lot. The finale is superb, in particular a shootout which takes place in a dark apartment with fireworks going off in the background. Oh, I think I am going to start calling all fat people Pie-shaped men and women, that cracks me up
Gardner has a fine musical number, but the first-person voice over narration is weakened by its past tense and completely predictable reliability. Laughton and Price are magnificent, however, and the Rozsa score lends some menace to otherwise underwhelming scenes such as perilous deep sea fishing. This is now available from Warner Archive.
** (out of four)
Poor excuse for a adventure film where Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner seem bored to tears. Though well shot, the interest level is about zero. The only ones doing anything interesting is Vincent Price and Charles Laughton, and even they appear about to slit their own throats. I think better lead casting might have saved the film.