Skip to content

Macao (1952)

Once again Robert Mitchum meets up with Jane Russell in a far off exotic location for more escapades in the Noir genre. Previously they had joined forces under the RKO banner to film the much loved His Kind of Woman.

macao poster

While not quite as memorable as their earlier pairing, this effort from Howard Hughes’ RKO studio has “The Mitch” playing a role he was all too familiar with by this point in his career. An exiled American with a past living a day to day existence in a far off land courtesy of director Josef von Sternberg.

Setting the pace for this action programmer our film opens up with Brad Dexter and Philip Ahn eliminating an American detective from reporting on their crooked nightclub and other underhanded enterprises. They have also employed Thomas Gomez’ border official to report any new and would be government agents who might be arriving by ship.

Enter our three main leads.

mitchum and russell

While sailing to Macao, Mitchum and Russell are already on their way to giving the viewer the much anticipated sparks that one would expect when shelling out the cash for their theater ticket. Mitch proves to be a fast worker when it comes to Russell. The problem for Mitchum is that she proves to be a much faster pickpocket. This will of course lead to more scenes of arguments, romance and double crosses throughout the film. Also on board posing as a bumbling salesman is William Bendix. Could he in fact be the G-Man that Dexter is worried about?

brad dexter

Dexter is of course convinced that the larger than life figure and cool headed Mitchum is the man to watch out for. He’s not only sure that Mitchum is the detective but doesn’t like the fact that Russell seems quite taken with him. Dexter has designs on his new nightclub singing star for himself. Russell’s beauty is stunningly enhanced in a white dress while singing to the patrons. She also gives us the standard “One more for my baby and one more for the road” before the fade out.

Before long, Mitchum is in over his head getting caught between shady Dexter and long legged Russell. Not to mention Bendix turning up at his doorstep with a rather dangerous proposition that helps move the plot along to it’s rather predictable ending.

macao-01

Having said that, don’t turn the channel just yet. It’s all played out in enjoyable fashion and we get Noir favorite Gloria Grahame as an added bonus playing Dexter’s current squeeze who wants to remain just that. Grahame was on a career roll winning an Oscar for the Bad and The Beautiful in this same year before moving on to her date with  Lee Marvin in Fritz Lang’s The Big Heat in 1953.

macao-gloria-grahame-1952

It would have been nice to see one more Mitchum – Russell pairing so we could call it a Noir trilogy to go along with this and His Kind of Woman. On screen they looked and played off each other wonderfully.

Championing the character actors is always one of my missions and William Bendix is a frequent visitor to my reviews. Never pass up the opportunity to catch him on screen.

William_Bendix_1960

Brad Dexter would kick around for another ten years before finding movie immortality as the one member of the Magnificent Seven that seems to stump people. Of note here is the presence of Vladimir Sokoloff as a blind beggar who sees all. He would appear with Dexter in the famed western as the old man who convinces the farmers to go and seek professional help in the form of gun fighters at the films beginning.

I am always pushing Robert Mitchum films to anyone who listens so if you haven’t caught this one, do so now.

5 Comments »

  1. Great review. Mitchum & Russell were such a super pair, and this is a fun example. That’s a cool fact about Dexter and Sokoloff, and how can you go wrong with all those supporting players. I leave you with this: Bob Hope said “culture is the ability to describe Jane Russell without moving your hands.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

"DESTROY ALL FANBOYS!"

Smashing System Bias Since 1972...

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

An Irreverent Blog of Old Movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

movies galore

"DESTROY ALL FANBOYS!"

Smashing System Bias Since 1972...

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

Talking Pulp

All things pulp and then some

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

An Irreverent Blog of Old Movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

movies galore

%d bloggers like this: