Clark Gable, Susan Hayward in Edward Dmytryk adventure. I had resisted this one for years; didn't think it would be too good. And it's not one of the all-time greats. But it's intriguing and entertaining, with charming players in good form. (Were these actors ever in bad form?) Hayward's husband, Gene Barry is being held prisoner in 1955 China. The lady needs a lovable rogue to free him, preferably a dashing if older gent, assuring romantic complications! Cary Grant must have been busy elsewhere, so...
The story, in Dmytryk's capable hands, moves efficiently, not muddied with the implied political themes behind it. No doubt, the book, by Ernest K. Gann, is more complex. But the movie is for fun, and it succeeds on that level. Gable cons his way in and out of favor. When that inevitably fails, he punches people in the head. Predictably, he finds a certain sexy redhead more threatening than the Chinese!
Michael Rennie is annoyingly British. A big guy whose name I missed plays a self serving bartender (in more ways than one). Should you drop what you're doing to watch SOLDIER OF FORTUNE? No. But if it comes your way, it's worth the time!
"The great thing about the movies...is--you're giving people little...tiny pieces of time...that they never forget." - Jimmy Stewart
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