Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"Plunder of the Sun" (1953)


My goodness, Glenn Ford is delicious in this!  Totally makes up for the fact that this movie is kind of a patchwork quilt of different genres.  First, it's noir, then it's a history lesson, then it's a treasure hunt adventure, then it devolves briefly into a soap opera, and somehow it manages to wind all that up with a zippy conclusion.  If you are now scratching your head and going, "Huh?" be assured that I was doing the same thing while I watched this.

Delicious Glenn Ford screencap #1

And yet it all holds together thanks to Glenn Ford, by then a veteran actor with nearly 40 films under his belt despite being only 37.  His charming likeability means I don't really care that they never explain why an American insurance adjuster is stranded in Mexico, why said insurance adjuster is so deft at punching people and handling guns... I don't care.  I just want Glenn's character, Al Colby, to survive and get away from all these wacky people.

Delicious Glenn Ford screencap #2

 And by wacky people, I mean the femme fatale who's actually rather sweet...

Delicious Glenn Ford and Patricia Medina

...the floozy...

Diana Lynn

...the weirdo blond dude wearing sunglasses who switches from ally to enemy several times (and possibly bats for the other team, but that's subtext, let's not go there)...

Sean McClory

...this movie is jammed with odd characters, and if three of them turn out to be embroiled in a revealed-for-no-reason love triangle... I don't really care about that either.

Delicious Glenn Ford screencap #3

The filmmakers were very proud of the fact that they shot lots of this movie on location in a foreign country, which is kind of normal to us now, but not so much back in the '50s.  A huge chunk of the movie takes place in these ancient ruins, including a lot of exposition and some history lessons, just because they were having so much fun walking around on location.

Delicious Glenn Ford admires the view

Is this movie family friendly?  Er... there's a lot of sexy subtext, but nothing overt there.  One female character is drunk in nearly every scene (at least, I assume that's why she's so off-balanced).  There's a good bit of drinking and smoking, and some violence, both fisticuffs and gunplay.  But I don't recall any bad language, though there might have been a couple minor words I'm forgetting.  This doesn't get dark, and I could see myself watching this when I was eleven or twelve and thinking it was an awesome adventure.

I kind of collect pictures of people talking on the telephone.  So this is delicious Glenn Ford screencap #4.

6 comments:

  1. Delicious screenshots, indeed!!! Four seems downright stingy! LOL! Very nice, and it really is a quiltwork of genres strung together.

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    1. I have two more good ones, but I ran out of things to write about. Another time!

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  2. Huh? What kind of movie is this again? : P It does sound a bit wacky! Actually it sounds a lot like a James Bond movie, what with the ladies and the foreign setting and all. That's actually kind of funny that the filmmakers made a big deal about having shot on location, but as you said, that wasn't very common in those days. I've never seen Glenn Ford in any movie, but if you say he's delicious, I'm sure I would think so too. Very nice review, dear!

    ~Emma

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    1. Lol, it's an off-brand James Bond movie without the car chases and gadgets. You're not wrong!

      You haven't seen Glenn Ford in anything? Oh, my dear, you must remedy that! Let's see... if you like suspense and don't mind westerns (and especially if you like westerns), try to find the original 3:10 to Yuma. I also really like his western The Fastest Gun Alive, and that has the advantage of him being a good guy, whereas he's a sidewindy bad guy in 3:10. If you like film noir, his Gilda and The Big Heat are classics for a reason. If you like drama and/or juvenile delinquints, try Blackboard Jungle, which also has a young Sidney Poitier and my beloved Vic Morrow.

      Just don't go near The Courtship of Eddie's Father. Unsettling movie.

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  3. Okay, I will have to look for this on Netflix or Amazon.

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