Eddie Darrow, played by Tony Curtis, is sent to Macao, which borders China, to bring back to the U.S. a gangster’s ex-wife (Joanne Dru) because of the money she possesses. There are prodigious difficulties, though, because 1) the ex-wife (Christine by name) is Eddie’s old flame and 2) she is now the fiancee of Justin, a Macao casino owner. And here we have Rudolph Mate‘s Forbidden, from 1953.
This is a very likable movie, but I wish fewer entertainment films strained credulity, as Forbidden does quite often. (Aw shucks, Christine overheard Eddie’s cock-and-bull story to an American gangster [a story the gangster was prepared to believe] about how he planned to deceive her.) But when it doesn’t strain credulity, William Sackheim’s screenplay is gratifying. The film is robust—if not, I’m afraid, a masterpiece of acting. Curtis is mediocre. Dru gives a merely routine performance although, along with being beautiful, she is as classy-looking as a human being can get. Lyle Bettger, as Justin, knows how to be debonair—and memorable.
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