This Mitchum-Russell vehicle is a delightful crime potboiler with mystery, chases, fights galore, and sex oozing from the pores of the Amazonian leading lady. Sleepy-eyed gambler Mitchum has been given $50,000 to go to a Mexican resort for an unexplained purpose. He walks into a cafe and sees Russell singing in a revealing evening dress. They immediately...read more
This Mitchum-Russell vehicle is a delightful crime potboiler with mystery, chases, fights galore, and sex oozing from the pores of the Amazonian leading lady. Sleepy-eyed gambler Mitchum has been given $50,000 to go to a Mexican resort for an unexplained purpose. He walks into a cafe and
sees Russell singing in a revealing evening dress. They immediately hit it off, animal magnetism drawing Mitchum and Russell together. They go on to the resort together, but as soon as Russell registers at the desk she sees flamboyant Price, an egocentric actor with whom she's been having an
affair, and she momentarily departs Mitchum for Price's company. The actor however, is nervous by the mere presence of the voluptuous Russell since he's dodging his wife, Reynolds, who goes into a rampage when seeing Price with any other woman. Mitchum then slowly learns the reason he has been
summoned to this remote spot. His employer turns out to be Burr, a notorious mobster wanted for various crimes. Mitchum discovers that Burr has paid him so that a plastic surgeon can change Burr's face to that of Mitchum's, which will allow the mobster to assume a new identity, return to the US,
and continue to operate free and easy. Moreover, through Russell's help, Mitchum further learns that once the operation is finished, Mitchum will also be finished and be of no more use to Burr. Hovering about all these evil doings is Holt, an immigration agent waiting to snatch Burr when he makes
a move toward the border (he is later murdered by Burr's henchmen), and McGraw, one of Burr's killers, waiting to bump off Mitchum. Burr cannot wait any longer and has Mitchum dragged on to his yacht where he is beaten, stripped, and then injected with a dangerous drug administered by the plastic
surgeon, a one time Nazi quack who looks upon the operation as a marvelous experiment. Russell, now realizing Mitchum is the true love of her life, enlists the aid of the extravagant Price, who organizes a strange group of adventurers and leads a raid against Burr's heavily fortified yacht,
freeing Mitchum, who takes care of Burr personally. Mitchum's arms open wide at the finish to embrace his kind of woman, Russell.
Everything about this film is crude, rude, sleazy, and coarse, so much so that it has become a camp classic. Price's outrageous performance, an all-time high (or low) in hamminess, is alone worth sitting through the movie for. He is unbelievable, uttering dialog and striking fierce postures that
will leave the viewer gaping in wonder. He's so bad he's wonderful. Mitchum is his usual stoic self, prodded and pummeled until finally going berserk. Russell's performance can best be described as a towering, walking, jiggling assemblance of pulchritudinous flesh which bursts forth from specially
designed skimpy costumes, especially a black bathing suit that is hardly there. She sings three songs in her one-key voice (but what male is really listening?): "Kiss and Run," "Five Little Miles from San Berdoo" (Ben S. Coslow), and "You'll Know" (Jimmy McHugh, Harold Adamson). The dialog is
positively out of this world, right from the beginning when Mitchum, who can't pay off a bet, receives Burr's anonymous offer of $50,000 in his cheap hotel room, remarking to his thug visitors: "I was just getting ready to take my tie off...wondering whether I should hang myself with it." Price
later tells Mitchum that "I've got a little Winchester I'd like you to try. If it feels right to you, I'll let you use it." The classic camp line is delivered by Mitchum when Russell hip-sways into his room to find him pressing wet currency. She asks him what he's doing and he replies:"Whenever
I'm bored I always iron my money." Russell's vamping, Mitchum's ridiculous wisecracks, Burr's growling, and Price's outlandish statements make up one of the most spectacular bad movies ever made, naturally a Howard Hughes production. Hughes ballyhooed Russell's bosomy talents once more (his
fixation since her debut in THE OUTLAW) with an ad campaign headed by a quote from gossip monger Louella Parsons: "The hottest combination that ever hit the screen!" Mitchum and Russell teamed up to star in MACAO just after completing HIS KIND OF WOMAN. Though this film was finished in 1950, it
was not released until the following year because Hughes was too busy to see it and approve its release. Farrow does a credible job with the poor material, and the production values are high. Burr's role, incidentally, is certainly based on the then-deported gangster Charles "Lucky" Luciano, who
was scheming a way to reenter the US.
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