July 7, 1952 in UK cinemas: Macao

“ON THE SPOT…IN THE TOUGHEST SPOT ON EARTH”

Macao is a black-and-white film noir adventure directed by Josef von Sternberg and Nicholas Ray. Producer Howard Hughes fired director von Sternberg during filming and hired Nicholas Ray to finish it. The drama features Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, William Bendix, and Gloria Grahame.

Three strangers arrive at the port of Macao on the same ship: Nick Cochran (Mitchum), a cynical-but-honest ex-serviceman, Julie Benson (Russell), an equally cynical, sultry night club singer, and Lawrence Trumble (Bendix), a traveling salesman who deals in both silk stockings and contraband.

Corrupt police lieutenant Sebastian notifies casino boss Vincent Halloran about the new arrivals, who has been tipped off about an undercover policeman out to lure him into international waters so he can be arrested. Halloran assumes Nick is the cop and tries to bribe him to leave Macao, but Nick wants to get to know Julie better and turns him down. Halloran hires Julie to find out what she knows about Nick.

Halloran recognises a diamond from a stolen necklace Nick shows him and he has the American taken prisoner for later questioning. Halloran’s jealous girlfriend, Margie (Grahame) is worried that he is planning to dump her for Julie and lets Nick escape. Trumble is killed trying to help Nick but not before telling Nick about the police boat waiting offshore.

When Nick tries to get Julie to go away with him, he learns that Halloran has invited her on a trip to Hong Kong to retrieve the necklace. With this information, Nick takes the helm of Halloran’s boat and hands Halloran to the waiting police. [Wikipedia]

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