6.7/10
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31 user 13 critic

The Bribe (1949)

Federal agent Rigby, in Central America to trace stolen plane engines, falls for the gorgeous wife of the chief suspect.

Directors:

Robert Z. Leonard, Vincente Minnelli (uncredited)

Writers:

Marguerite Roberts (screen play), Frederick Nebel (short story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Taylor ... Rigby
Ava Gardner ... Elizabeth Hintten
Charles Laughton ... J.J. Bealer
Vincent Price ... Carwood
John Hodiak ... Tug Hintten
Samuel S. Hinds ... Dr. Warren
John Hoyt ... Gibbs
Tito Renaldo Tito Renaldo ... Emilio Gomez
Martin Garralaga ... Pablo Gomez
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Storyline

In pursuit of stolen aircraft engines on a Central American island, federal agent Rigby meets chief suspect Hintten and his wife Elizabeth, a sultry cafe singer; and is watched by Bealer, a "pie-shaped man" with sore feet. Rigby knows he's on the right track when Bealer offers him money to leave Carlota. When Rigby and Elizabeth are drawn to each other, the gang realizes there's more than one kind of bribe. Everybody sweats. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

5 Great Stars in a Daring Drama of Love and Adventure !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

25 August 1949 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bribe See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,984,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film did poorly at the box office for MGM, resulting in a loss of $322,000 ($3.28M in 2017) according to studio records. See more »

Quotes

J.J. Bealer: It's your husband's life against a cop's job.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Situation Wanted
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by William Katz
Performed by Ava Gardner (dubbed by Eileen Wilson) (uncredited)
[The first song Elizabeth sings at Pedro's]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Latin-intrigue noir saved by 5 principals, pyrotechnic climax
24 August 2001 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

The reflective voice-over narration was a staple of film noir, but here it boasts the conceit of Robert Taylor addressing it to himself in the second person ("You..."). That curious choice informs the first half of The Bribe, told in flashback; midway, we catch up to the present and the droning ceases. Starting as a routine foreign-intrigue drama -- something about surplus airplane motors, but who cares -- set in an island off Central America called Carlota (or sometimes Carlotta; the film can't quite decide), the film boasts a top-notch cast: Taylor, Ava Gardner, John Hodiak, Vincent Price and Charles Laughton, who could be either the most actorly of hams or the hammiest of actors but here opts for the latter. Most of the way through it's not bad, but in its second half the tone darkens noticeably, when director Leonard decides to treat us to some stylistic flourishes. The over-the-top, Wellsian-Hitchcockian climax is (literally) pyrotechnic, and actually stands as one of the more memorable sound-and-light shows in the whole noir cycle.


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