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USA 1949
Directed by
Don Siegel
71 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

Big Steal, The (1949)

The zesty pairing of Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer, who had already been combined in Jacques Tourneur's superior Out Of The Past (1947) provides the principal flavour for this B grade RKO production about a bunch of motley characters chasing some stolen money down Mexico way.

Army finance officer, Lt. Duke Halliday (Mitchum), has been framed for the robbery of a $300,000 payroll that was committed by hustler Jim Fiske (Patric Knowles). Duke wants to clear his name and flees with Army Capt. Vincent Blake (William Bendix) on his trail.  This is how he meets Joan Graham (Jane Greer), Fiske’s fiancé who has been diddled out of  $2,000 by Fiske and the two team up to catch him while police Inspector General Ortega (Ramon Novarro) keeps tabs on all of them.

Siegel pads out the slight plot based on the Saturday Evening Post Story "The Road to Carmichael's" by Richard Wormser adapted for the screen by Daniel Mainwaring and Gerald Drayson Adams with scenes of cars zooming along dusty roads (or shoddily done back-projections thereof) and although the final twist is clever, it is too little, too late to save this from being very ordinary fare.




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