Thursday, January 16, 2014

711 OCEAN DRIVE (1950)

Made the same year as D.O.A. Edmond O'Brien stars as a telephone lineman who's into the horses.  Constantly in the hole to his bookie, the bookie recruits him into setting up a wire service for the local betting operation.  Soon the money starts pouring in and thanks to some calculated moves and a little bit of luck O'Brien finds himself as the head of the organization.  Things go good for awhile, but then O'Brien starts getting greedy and taking a bigger cut for himself.  Things really go south when the national mafia decides O'Brien's little empire needs to be absorbed into theirs.  Murder and death follow.

711 OCEAN DRIVE might have a lame title, but with such a strong cast and interesting story it really should be more well known than it is (it currently has less than 500 votes on IMDb).  Edmond O'Brien is especially good, but then again you could pretty much say that about every film he's ever done.  Lots of great looking cars, old-timey electronics, murder, a reference to public hair that somehow got by the censors ("It'll work -- now I got him by the short hairs!"), nice photography, quick pace and lots of location shots including a exciting showdown at the Hoover Dam.  Any fans of classic crime thrillers should check it out.  Recommended.