|DESPERATE CARGO (director: William Beaudine; screenwriters: John T. Coyle/Morgan Cox/story "Loot Below"by Eustace L. Adams; cinematographer: Jack Greenhalgh; editor: Guy V. Thayer Jr. ; cast: Ralph Byrd (Tony Bronson), Carol Hughes (Peggy Morton), Jack Mulhall (Jim Halsey), Julie Duncan (Ann Howard), I. Stanford Jolley (Professor Carter), Richard Clarke (Ryan), Paul Bryar (Dessler), Johnstone White (Madden), Kenneth Harlan (Capt. Hank MacFarland), Thornton Edwards (Manuelo), Don Forrest (Navigator Williams), Rick Vallin (Radioman Stevens); Runtime: 69; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: John T. Coyle; PRC; 1941)|
B-film action-packed crime thriller, an early
example of a disaster film."
by Dennis Schwartz
"One Shot" Beaudine ("Born to the Saddle"/"The
Green Hornet"/"Billy the Kid versus Dracula")
serviceably directs this exciting B-film action-packed
crime thriller, an early example of a disaster film.
It's based on the 1937 Argosy magazine
serial "Loot Below" by Eustace L. Adams.
The screenplay is written by John T. Coyle and
disguised gang, led by "Professor Carter (I. Stanford
Jolley), a former pilot who flew
the "Caribbean Clipper", board as passengers and
hijack the Trans-Caribbean Airways plane
in mid-air after it takes off from an unnamed
Caribbean island at the fictional site of Puerto Nueva
and is en-route to Miami. The Professor's confederates
are Madden (Johnstone White), Ryan (Richard
Clarke), and Desser (Paul Bryar). They take over the
plane by killing the navigator (Don
Forrest) and co-pilot. The gang lock the crew in
the cargo compartment and lock the passengers in their
quarters. They rob them and steal the
plane's safe, which is carrying a shipment of
$500,000. Carter then tries to land the plane on a
remote island of the Caribbean Sea and
plans to be picked up there by other gang members and
whisked away in another plane. When they can't open
the locked safe, they force the purser, Tony Bronson
(Ralph Byrd), to open it. Tony resists and in a
struggle grabs Ryan's gun. After shooting Ryan, Tony
frees the pilot, Capt. Hank MacFarland
(Kenneth Harlan, silent screen
star), and crew, locked in the cargo area. Tony then
overpowers the Professor in the cockpit while holding
the gang off with the gun. MacFarland
will then fly to Miami, where the police will be
there to arrest the gang.
Julie Duncan plays the sweetheart passenger the hero fell in love with back at the hotel. Carol Hughes is her gold digger showbiz partner, who is dating fellow passenger Jack Mulhall, a hotshot New York journalist.
REVIEWED ON 1/14/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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