World for Ransom

Though he had directed a few earlier films, Robert Aldrich's career really begins with this grungy, low-budget thriller (1954, 82 min.) about a thick-skulled detective (Dan Duryea) hammering his way through a back-lot Singapore in pursuit of an impossibly complicated intrigue. Aldrich's baroque embellishments to the already-overloaded film noir style make their first appearances here, as well as his typically ironic (and occasionally openly contemptuous) perspective on the action hero. Made in ten days, it's a tiny wonder. With Gene Lockhart, Patric Knowles, Reginald Denny, and Nigel Bruce.

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