World for Ransom

A Monogram cheapie derived from the NBC TV series China Smith, this is a seminal Aldrich movie with Duryea, as private eye Mike Callahan, the first in a long line of compromised idealists who recur throughout the director's work. The plot concerns a kidnapped nuclear scientist - we're in Cold War country here - and the story's set in a Poverty Row Singapore. 'It was a parody on the usual exotic espionage adventure films' Aldrich remarked in an interview. He thought it 'interesting', indeed 'pretty good', but was sore about the excision of a scene which portrayed the girl Duryea loves as a lesbian (after Dietrich in Morocco). The whole point, he explained, was that Duryea could forgive her past life with men, but couldn't handle her love for women. Nor could the censors, it seems. Boy's Own material on the surface, maybe, but on the level of characterisation a compelling exploration of partnerships, brotherly bonds, and the fallibility of trust.

Release details

Duration: 82 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Robert Aldrich
Screenwriter: Lindsay Hardy
Cast: Dan Duryea
Gene Lockhart
Patric Knowles
Reginald Denny
Nigel Bruce
Marian Carr
Arthur Shields
Douglas Dumbrille
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