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Thieves' Highway (1949)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | 10 October 1949 (USA)
A war-veteran-turned-truck driver attempts to avenge the crippling and robbing of his father at the hands of an amoral produce scofflaw.

Director:

Jules Dassin

Writers:

A.I. Bezzerides (screen play), A.I. Bezzerides (based on his novel: "Thieves' Market")
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Conte ... Nick Garcos
Valentina Cortese ... Rica (as Valentina Cortesa)
Lee J. Cobb ... Mike Figlia
Barbara Lawrence ... Polly Faber
Jack Oakie ... Slob
Millard Mitchell ... Ed Kinney
Joseph Pevney ... Pete
Morris Carnovsky ... Yanko Garcos
Tamara Shayne Tamara Shayne ... Parthena Garcos
Kasia Orzazewski Kasia Orzazewski ... Mrs. Polansky, the Apple Farmer's Wife
Norbert Schiller ... Mr. Polansky, the Apple Farmer
Hope Emerson ... Midge, a buyer
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Storyline

The soldier Nick Garcos returns back home from the war very happy, with gifts for his parents Yanko and Parthena Garcos and money in his pocket to open a business and marry his girlfriend Polly Faber. Out of the blue, Nick realizes that his father has lost both legs. Yanko, who was a truck driver, says that he was cheated by a dealer, Mike Figlia, in a San Francisco market when he delivered a truckload of tomatoes but was not paid. He believes that his accident was caused by Figlia's gangsters. Yanko also says that he then sold the truck to a driver named Ed Kinney who has not paid him. Nick meets Ed and says that he will take back the truck, but Ed proposes a deal with apples, where they may earn a great amount of money. Nick invests his savings in another truck and buys apples from a Polish farmer. They need to drive directly to the market in San Francisco without sleeping to keep the fruit fresh; but Ed's truck has problem with its axle, and Nick arrives first. Mike Figlia hires ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Rackets Ride The Roads! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

Greek | English | Italian

Release Date:

10 October 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Collision See more »

Filming Locations:

Oakland, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

According to director Jules Dassin, Jack Oakie was completely deaf by the time of this film. "He caused absolutely no delays," Dassin said. See more »

Goofs

When Rica tells Nick he looks tired, he responds "You'd be tired too if you drove four hundred miles without sleep." The distance from Fresno to San Francisco is less than 200 miles. See more »

Quotes

Mike Figlia: Everything happens to me. The whole street, he's gotta break down in front of my place.
Charles, dock henchman: Tough luck.
Mike Figlia: I'm the original tough luck kid.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Long Haul of A.I. Bezzerides (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Never Be the Same
(uncredited)
Music by Matty Malneck and Frank Signorelli
Played when Nick first meets Rica in the coffee shop
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dassin on a roll!
28 January 2005 | by jpseacadetsSee all my reviews

Beginning with his compelling "Brute Force" ('47)followed by the richly atmospheric "Naked City" ('48), Jules Dassin became the hottest dealer in Hollywood of the Film-Noir genre. "Thieves Highway" adds ethnic tensions to the Dassin stew of lost souls always living at the edge of danger. Richard Conte was at his peak here as the tough trucker, quick to throw a punch when he's threatened and equally capable of rolling with them if necessary. In Robert Siodmak's "Cry of the City," he's held in a headlock by a butch Hope Emerson; in this one, a jack gives way and a truck fender lands on his neck....ouch!

Conte, like Burt Lancaster, came from a streetwise background that, second only to a boxing ring, fitted him neatly as a glove when it came to movies like "Thieves Highway." Conte was so good in this, he was selected to repeat the role on TV six years later under the title "Overnight Haul" on the old 20th Century-Fox Hour.

As for Dassin, he had yet a fourth fling at the genre the following year with the claustrophobic thriller, "Night and the City." A film worth commenting on later. As for "Thieves Highway," having seen it, you may want to follow it up with Clouzot"s "Wages of Fear," made three years later and the ultimate truckers' movie. As a boy I was privileged to have seen all four Dassin movies during their original releases. How thrilling to see "Thieves Highway" and "Night and the City" now out on DVD!


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