6.5/10
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14 user 5 critic

The Bottom of the Bottle (1956)

Approved | | Drama | 19 May 1956 (West Germany)
In the border town of Nogales, Arizona, a wealthy attorney and rancher is solicited by his escaped convict brother in aiding him to cross the border into Mexico where his wife and children are living in poverty.

Director:

Henry Hathaway

Writers:

Georges Simenon (novel), Sydney Boehm
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Van Johnson ... Donald Martin / Eric Bell
Joseph Cotten ... Pat 'P.M.' Martin
Ruth Roman ... Nora Martin
Jack Carson ... Hal Breckinridge
Margaret Hayes ... Lil Breckinridge
Bruce Bennett ... Brand
Brad Dexter ... Stanley Miller
Peggy Knudsen ... Ellen Miller
Jim Davis ... George Cady
Margaret Lindsay ... Hannah Cady
Nancy Gates ... Mildred Martin
Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez ... Luis Romero (as Gonzales-Gonzales)
John Lee ... Jenkins
Tod Griffin Tod Griffin ... Rancher (as Ted Griffin)
Ernestine Barrier ... Lucy Grant
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Storyline

Patrick Martin (Joseph Cotten), known as P.M., is a wealthy attorney and rancher big-man-in-town in the border town of Nogales, Arizona. He returns home to find his brother Donald (Van Johnson)hiding in his garage. A former drunkard, Donald had been sent to the penitentiary five years previously for killing a man in a barroom brawl. It was in self-defense but P.M. hadn't defended his brother and he was convicted. Donald has escaped and wants his brother to help him across the Santa Cruz River into the Mexico-side Nogales, where his wife (Shirley Patterson as Shawn Smith)and children (Kim Charney and Sandy Deschler) are in dire straits. The straits get even dier when P.M. tells him the river is flooded and it will be days before anyone can cross. And P.M. is all a'twitter because his wife Nora (Ruth Roman), whom he married after Donald had gone to prison, doesn't know about his jail-bird brother. He introduces Donald to Nora and the rest of his Cadillac Cowboy and ranch society friends... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's brother against brother ... stripping the southwest's ranch society of its bought respectability !

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 May 1956 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Other Man See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,695,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (magnetic prints) (Westrex Recording System)| Mono (optical prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The chimes on the doorbell to Joseph Cotten (Pat Martin)'s house play "How Dry I Am". Quite fitting considering Van Johnson (Donald)'s drinking problem and the "lushy" household guests that tempt him. See more »

Quotes

Pat 'P.M.' Martin: I didn't mean to be that abrupt before. His name isn't Eric Bell, Nora. He's my brother Donald. I know I never told you I had a brother. I never told anyone.
Nora Martin: Why? What did he do?
Pat 'P.M.' Martin: It was some kind of brawl.
See more »

Soundtracks

Blue Moon
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Played the next morning when Eric and Nora talk
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stuck in a storm with a brother who is, at best, indifferent to you and your plight.
7 September 2018 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

When the story begins, Donald Martin (Van Johnson) arrives at his brother Pat's (Joseph Cotten) ranch during a horrific rainstorm. You really don't know exactly what's happening but you know that Donald is on the run from the law. Soon, the house is filled with guests, as Pat and his wife are having a party. So, Donald is introduced to everyone...and you still wonder exactly what had happened.

So what had happened? Apparently several years earlier, Donald killed someone in a bar fight and claimed it was in self-defense. You also learned that at that time, Pat did nothing to help or even acknowledge him. Additionally, Donald is shocked to learn that Pat's wife had no idea she even had a brother-in-law! So, there is a lot of tension between them....and waiting for the swollen river is a must. The problem is that Donald's family is waiting for him in Mexico...and they are broke and need him. So what's next?? Well, quite a bit....but I'll leave it up to you to see this movie.

This one starts slowly and didn't grab my interest until about midway through the picture. So hold on....it's worth it in the long run and it's an excellent story that's about so much more than a prison escape.


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