Selasa, 24 Mei 2011

William A. Seiter - Borderline (1950)

Two Americans (Fred MacMurray, Claire Trevor) are caught in the middle of a dope-smuggling ring in a Mexican border town. Each suspects the other is involved with the drug cartel, not realizing that they are both, in fact, undercover agents. They both find evidence that will send drug czar Pete Richie (Raymond Burr) to prison for life. The couple falls in love and are tortured by the prospect of turning each other in to the authorities at the border crossing. MacMurray's icy cool performance and Trevor's jittery energy create a chemistry that ignites this classic film noir. --

No matter what one calls Borderline, it cannot be termed a misnomer. For the newcomer, which began a stand at the Criterion on Saturday, skips back and forth across the borderline between melodrama and comedy with a curious indecision. As a result, this yarn about dope smugglers is neither exciting cops-and-gangsters fare nor a rib-tickling travesty of same. It's merely a long chase between Lower California and Los Angeles, but the plot, unlike the road, hasn't a novel twist in it.
It is difficult to judge whether it was Director William A. Seiter or Scenarist Devery Freeman who was undecided. It is fairly clear, however, that this story of a pair of undercover operatives—a Narcotics Bureau stalwart and a pretty Los Angeles policewoman assigned to get the dope on the dope peddlers—who unwittingly work against each other, is not likely to cause either great tension or laughter. The fact that they're unaware of each other's true calling and that love takes a hand only complicates matters. But after surviving a gang feud down Mexico way, a couple of ambushes along the route to the border and a climactic battle in the headquarters of the hasheesh syndicate, the pair find the road to romance smoother.
Fred MacMurray is taciturn and tough as the Federal man who poses as a mobster. Claire Trevor is not altogether convincing as the distaff cop disguised as a brassy chorine, and Raymond Burr, as a sinister racketeer, and Roy Roberts, as the dope ring chief, are adequate in the routine featured assignments. Routine, as a matter of fact, is the word for Borderline. -- NYT Review published: March 6, 1950

Language English
Subtitles included: Ext VobSub: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian
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