Deported

Time for another guest post, once again courtesy of Gordon Gates. It’s a classic era film noir, so it slots right into his comfort zone. Seeing as it’s a Universal-International property, albeit yet another of the elusive ones, it probably belongs in the comfort zone of a few regular visitors here too.

There are many directors who are held in high esteem by fans of film noir, and of cinema in general. These include: Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Phil Karlson, John Huston, Jules Dassin, Jacques Tourneur, Anthony Mann and of course, Robert Siodmak. Siodmak hit the ground running in 1944 with a string of nine successful films noir starting with Phantom Lady. This was followed by Christmas Holiday, The Suspect, The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The Spiral Staircase, The Killers, The Dark Mirror, Cry of the City, Criss Cross and The File on Thelma Jordan. The 11th noir wasn’t so successful, this was 1950’s Deported, shot on location in Italy.

A ship docks in Naples and starts off-loading cargo and one man, Victor Mario Sparducci. Sparducci is played by Jeff Chandler, who is a mobster going by the name, Vic Smith. Chandler has just finished a 5 year prison bit for a $100,000 robbery. The cash was never recovered by the Police. Chandler, after he finished his term, was escorted to the docks and deported back to the old country. This is before he can grab the $100,000.

Chandler is barely off the docks in Naples when he runs into the pretty, Marina Berti. Berti invites Chandler to her rooms for a drink and a cuddle, which our man Jeff is all too happy to accept. This of course does not go as Chandler had expected. Waiting for him at Berti’s place is fellow mobster, Richard Rober. Rober has followed Chandler from the States. He is not amused that he never got his cut of the $100,000 holdup the two had arranged.

Some less than friendly words and fists are exchanged over the financial situation, with Rober being laid out. Chandler informs Rober that he intends to keep the whole take. “I did five years for that money, so as far as I’m concerned, it is mine.” Chandler then tells Rober to stay away, or he will kill him.

 

Chandler then heads for the small village his family had left when he was a child. He hides out with his uncle, Silvio Mincioti, while he plans a way to get his cash over to him from the States. Chandler soon hooks up with the village’s black market boss, Carlo Rizzo. He figures he will need Rizzo’s help once he comes up with a plan to retrieve his cash.

While all this is going on, Chandler finds time to romance local beauty, Marta Toren. Toren is a wealthy widow who spends her time doing charity work for the local poor. Toren soon falls for the rather rough around the edges Chandler.

This all happens in the first 20 minutes. The film then loses steam and becomes a travelogue for the next 30 plus minutes. This seemed to be a regular problem with American films being made overseas at the time. There really is no on screen sparks between Chandler and Toren. Their scenes together are more or less dead time. The film however, does catch fire again in the last 10 minutes.

Chandler has found the perfect way to get his cash from the States. He cables the person in the States holding his money, to buy 100 grand worth of food and medical supplies. These he has shipped to Italy to be given to the village. The trick here is that Chandler intends to hi-jack the items, then, sell them on the black market for 5 times the cost.

The viewer of course know there is going to be a falling out with Chandler and the black market types. There is also the added complication that Rober is back in play. The mandatory guns are produced and some well done violence ensues.

Also in the film is Claude Dauphin and if you look close and you will spot bit players Tito Vuolo and Vito Scotti.
The director of photography is Oscar winner, William H. Daniels. His noir work includes, Brute Force, Lured, The Naked City, Illegal Entry, Abandoned, Winchester ’73, Woman in Hiding and Forbidden. He also did the last reviewed film here by Colin, Foxfire.
The screenplay was by one time Oscar nominated Robert Buckner. Buckner also produced the film.
Considering all the talent involved is this film, it does not hit the mark. There are parts here that are quite well handled, but the quick start and the finish are not quite enough to save the film from at best, just being average. It suffers from a tad too much dead time. For a Siodmak film, I found it rather disappointing.
(INFO) All three of the leads died before their time with Toren going at 31, Rober at 42 and Chandler at 43.
The only means of viewing the movie at the moment appears to be online – https://ok.ru/video/772666952344
Gordon Gates

58 thoughts on “Deported

  1. Well, it IS a Jeff Chandler and it IS a Universal-International from 1950 so those facts alone would get me interested, let alone Siodmak in the director’s chair! But I take on board your reservations, Gord, and I trust your judgement. Still be nice to have it on DVD. If only.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Having watched the movie online myself, Jerry, I’d have to go along with Gord’s general assessment too.

      Chandler is fine in his role, but he was usually good at putting over that terse and prickly side of his persona, prompted here by his character’s evident disgust at himself for getting sent back to the “old country” and the fall from grace that represents to him. But the swagger, albeit with a touch of latent dissatisfaction, soon reappears when he sees how he’s perceived locally and the opportunities that are available.

      The central relationship doesn’t quite come off and that fact slows the pace. Both Toren and Chandler put the effort in but I found it all lacked something. Of course, the location work is attractive, but I’m also of the opinion that many of these European shot movies of the era do drift a little.

      The last act though is very well executed and the pace picks up considerably. The scene at the dance displays considerable visual flair and is something of a pivotal moment, where Chandler’s apparent triumph suddenly dissolves into potential failure before his eyes. Yet the way it all plays out suggests that’s not necessarily the case and it’s simply a matter of his needing to adopt a different perspective.

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    • Jerry
      When I first caught DEPORTED back in 06 I was really surprised by it. It starts out great and I was expecting more of the same. Had I found an unseen Siodmak masterpiece? Sadly no. This is not a disaster at all, it just misses the mark and could of been so much better. I watched it again 2 weeks ago and my opinion has not changed, and I am a soft marker with Siodmak stuff.
      Gord

      Liked by 1 person

        • Colin
          You hit on the perfect comment of what I mean about this film. “I don’t feel it’s without merit either even if it does go off the boil too often.”
          Gord

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          • I think that while the romance at the heart of the story saps the pace, it’s still an essential part of the story. If you were to remove the developing romance, the shape of the movie would be altered and the resolution would be much more difficult (arguably impossible) to achieve. It defines Chandler’s character in the end, and I do like what Toren brought to her role too. From what I’ve seen of her tragically short career, I feel Marta Toren was very poorly served by her role in the drab Sirocco whereas she was presented with and fully exploited a much better part in The Man Who Watched Trains Go By.

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  2. Returning to a film brought up by Blake a few threads back, “HARRY BLACK” (to give it its original title), we finally got to watch the recently-acquired Odeon DVD. I really enjoyed the film. Stunning closeups of the tiger (such beautiful beasts) and beautifully lensed.
    I think this may be Stewart Granger’s finest performance on film. Very pleased to have had the film brought to our consciousness. I wonder if Blake has done a re-watch with his new copy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is indeed a first class movie it’s quite surprising that it isn’t better known. Granger does turn in a powerful performance, approaching what he did in The Last Hunt in my opinion; it’s very honest and achieves real dignity in the end.

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    • I’m glad to hear you responded that way to it, Jerry, and not surprised.

      Granger is indeed very moving in his role in the film–I so like him in this inward but heroic vein, quietly struggling with some difficult thing or things in his life and then finally finding what is needed in himself to resolve it. Like Colin, I feel it especially in THE LAST HUNT but this role has something in common with that and I’d put it on that level. These are spiritual crises and the finest basis for drama and an actor who can animate them. This part of Granger also comes to MOONFLEET in the end–that is such a beautiful film!
      –and in a way also to BHOWANI JUNCTION where Ava Gardner is more the emotional center but he is the ideal male counterpart.

      There is just this reflective atmosphere Fregonese brings to HARRY BLACK and other of his films too–visually and dramatically, he has some affinities with Jacques Tourneur, about as high a complement I can pay in terms of the kind of direction I respond to. And so I am moved by all the interaction with the tiger, no less than that sad love story with Barbara Rush they do so well.

      So now I’m thinking about it and look forward to getting back to it. My copy has arrived but haven’t watched it yet. So will be good to get back to it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have read two very varying critiques (if that is the right word) of the film. David Quinlan in his invaluable resource “The British Film 1930 to 1959” rates it highly whereas Leonard Maltin somewhat surprisingly rated it a BOMB. Was he watching the same film as me??? Ah well, it’s only opinion at the end of the day.
        I feel certain you will love it all over again when you play your new copy, Blake.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Bhowani Junction and If I have it was a very long time ago, and perhaps only part of the movie. I’m now curious about it again.

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  3. Hi, all – just wanted to share with the RTHC community my excitement about a beautiful piece of writing and thinking about Westerns I have just read.

    It’s from a book by James Harvey. I became aware of his books through an obituary in the New York Times this week. Harvey died recently at the age of 90. His third and final book was “Watching Them Be: Star Presence on the Screen from Garbo to Balthazar” and is available as an ebook. So I read a sample of it and, impressed, bought it. Then, of course, I went first to his chapter about John Wayne and John Ford. (The book is not only about Westerns and most of it is about stars and directors outside the Western genre).

    Harvey’s thought and poetic writing give depth and new meaning to scenes that I have watched many times. This excerpt about the opening scene of The Searchers illustrates Harvey’s brilliance. He writes that the scene opens with

    “ … the sight of a door opening in the center of widescreen blackness; the camera going through it following close upon the shoulders and head of a woman walking out onto a porch into a dazzle of sun and space, of brown earth and blue sky stretching endlessly away toward mesas at the horizon, and at screen right in the far distance, something moving. That’s what she’s looking toward—a delicately beautiful woman of middle age with wide eloquent eyes and brown hair—as she puts her hand on the porch post, the other shading her eyes with fingers curled, the wind blowing gently in her hair, as she strains to see into the distance.”

    And Harvey proceeds to delicately analyse what the scene says about the relationships of the characters involved and Ford’s subtle mastery of the moving image in painting the story. In a similar vein, he explores several other of the Wayne-Ford collaborations.

    I thoroughly recommend this book to you all. (And acknowledge that many of you will already own it).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Colin, Chris

    HORROR OF DRACULA 1958, SCARLET STREET 1945 and SPRINGFIELD RIFLE 1952 are watched and out of the way. That just leaves SEVEN WOMEN 1966 for Sunday. The first one was a fun Hammer production. The second is a great noir from Lang and it must be the 5th or 6th time I have watched it. SPRINGFIELD RIFLE 1952 was a long pull to get through. This was my second time watching and I do not see a 3rd time on the horizon.

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    • The Hammer Horror of Dracula remains perhaps the best imagining of the story and has that aesthetic that makes all of their productions from the late 50s through the mid-60s attractive. Even when some elements were less satisfying scoring, set design, cinematography and so on acted as major compensation.

      Springfield Rifle is a muddled affair. It looks good and the personnel promise more than the movie is able to deliver in the end. It’s both too much and too little and never really settles on what it wants to do.

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  5. Colin
    I agree with your comments on both films. Back in high school in the 70’s the local drive-in sometimes had Hammer and horror triple bill Saturday features. It was great fun just like the Friday western triple bills were.,

    Gord

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  6. I have just recorded CARBINE WILLIAMS 52 with Jimmy Stewart off TCM. I do not recall ever seeing this. one Any thoughts on it?
    Gord

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    • A brief thought Gordon…….I hadn’t seen this film in decades. So I gave it another look-see…..glad I did. It was vintage Stewart in portrayal of Marsh Williams just as you would envision him. Now, I’m not normally a fan of Wendell Corey, but in support of Stewart he gives a convincing stellar performance as Warden Capt H. C. Peoples. Gordon, you won’t be disappointed…..guaranteed.

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  7. Just watched Once A Thief starring Alain Delon, Ann Margret, Van Heflin and Jack Palance, what an assembly of stars. A very dark and grim heist movie with a very exciting finale with a twist. Quite entertaining but not the best of the heist movies. Best regards.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My latest film (re)viewings:
    “THE FABULOUS TEXAN” (1947), a fairly big-budget western by Republic standards starring one of my western favourites, Bill Elliott (as William) though the bigger role really went to second-listed John Carroll. A pretty successful western chronicling the police state running Texas in the aftermath of the civil war.
    Also 1947, “RAILROADED”. A terrific little ‘noir’ from poverty-row studio PRC but this one reeks class all over it and strongly recommended to any ‘noir’ lover that has not yet seen it. Main reason why it is so good is that it was one the earlier films directed by the extraordinarily-talented Anthony Mann. His previous film had been “DESPERATE” for RKO and his next was to be “T-MEN” for Eagle-Lion – superior ‘noirs’ all.

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  9. Jerry
    I still must get to my first Wild Bill western. This one sounds good. Hopefully I can get to some Elliott dusters soon.
    As for RAILROADED, it is an excellent low rent noir from the great Anthony Mann. Along with Siodmak and Republic Studios regular, George Blair, I rank Mann’s noir highly. These include,Side Street 49,
    Border Incident 1949, Reign of Terror 1948, Raw Deal 1947, Strange Impersonation 1945, Two O’Clock Courage 1945, The Great Flamarion 1944 and Strangers in the Night 1944 which are all quite watchable noir.

    Gord

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  10. Gord,
    Fully agree about Mann and Siodmak. I am very interested that you specifically mention George Blair. I know him as director of a Monte Hale and two Rex Allen westerns for Republic and for some later TV series but I know nothing of his work as a ‘noir’ director. This is probably because he worked for Republic and sadly not too much of their non-western films seem readily available. Not sure how yet but I will definitely be on the ‘prod’ for Blair now.
    Jerry

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  11. Mark at the excellent Noir Blog Where Danger Lives rates
    George Blair rather highly even going as far as making
    Preminger comparisons.
    Always fine when an esteemed cineaste champions an unheralded
    B director as is the case with Blake Lucas and Richard Bartlett.
    As Jerry states these Republic Noirs are hard to locate but Mark has
    featured a few Blair Noirs on his blog.
    For some reason Mark is none too fond of Blair’s WOMEN FROM HEADQUARTERS
    an early entry in the female cops cycle which for me is B Movie Bliss,
    furthermore the film has a rare lead role for Virginia Huston who sadly only
    made a handful of pictures. Huston was also most appealing in
    THE DOOLINS OF OKLAHOMA and THE HIGHWAYMAN.
    Mark is kinder on Blair’s END OF THE ROAD and FEDERAL AGENT
    AT LARGE both of which I’ve never seen.
    I have however seen Blair’s LONELY HEARTS BANDITS a somewhat creepy
    and disturbing little Noir.
    Certainly I would say that any of Blair’s Republic Noirs/Crime Thrillers are
    worth seeking out if you can find them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great to hear from you, John, and I hope all’s well with you. I always end up intrigued and frustrated in almost equal parts when I hear about these hard to find movies and filmmakers.

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      • Colin
        The Republic titles were out there but the quality was sometimes lacking. Years ago I was part of a trading circle which is where I laid my hands on most of my Republic stuff. These groups have more or less vanished in the last few years.

        Gord

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    • John
      I have been a fan of George Blair for years and posted my first Blair film ” Federal Agent at Large-50″ on IMDB back in 2006. Other Blair films I have up on IMDB include,” Woman in the Dark-52″, “Secrets of Monte Carlo-51”, “Insurance Investigator-51″, ” Exposed-47″, “Gangs of the Waterfront-45″, ” Post Office Investigator-48″, “Women from Headquarters-50” and the nasty little “Lonely Heart Bandits-50” are all well done B-film noir/crime films.
      Other Republic Studio noir from other directors I have IMDB reviews up on are, “Port of 40 Thieves-44”, “The Tiger Woman”-1945, “The Madonna’s Secret-46”, “Passkey to Danger-46”, “Hideout-48″, Harbor of Missing Men-50″, Missing Women-51″, Street Bandits-51”, “Accused of Murder-56”, “The Man is Armed–56” and “The Crooked Circle-57”. There is at least another 20 that I have seen but have no reviews up yet. I must admit I do love these Republic low renters.

      Gord.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Gordon,
    It’s a shame those vintage Republic B’s are so hard to track down, unless Paramount sell the Republic library to someone else I cannot see any of them getting an official release. I’ve seen several of the films that you mention on your list, and I’d love to see the others. I enjoy the way directors better know for their Westerns seemed equally at home with these Noir/Thrillers guys like Lesley Selander, R.G.Springsteen and George Sherman. Sherman’s LONDON BLACKOUT MURDERS is a particular favourite of mine with the great John Abbott stealing the show as usual.

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  13. John
    Another Republic helmsman I like besides the ones you mention, is the nephew of John Ford, Phil Ford. He directed several entertaining low rent Republic noir, MISSING WOMEN, LAST CROOKED MILE, THE TIGER WOMAN and THE INNER CIRCLE to name a few. He of course cranked out more than a few western type fare as well.
    Gord

    Like

  14. FILMS FOR THE WEEKEND
    Night and the City 1950
    Carson City 1952
    The Cooler 2003
    Land Beyond the Law 1937 Dick Foran and Wayne Morris duster
    Perry Mason – 1st episode of the new series

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Gord
    “NIGHT AND THE CITY” is another good choice. Widmark is especially sleazy in this one and of course I enjoy the 1950 London locations.
    I have set to record the first of the new “PERRY MASON” series too. Hope to enjoy it. Produced by Robert Downey jr and starring Brit actor, Matthew Rhys. I will enjoy hearing your thoughts on it.

    Not sure yet what I will be watching but “OUTLAW’S SON” (1957) is probable. A Bel-Air western with Dane Clark and Ben Cooper. Also, “MAKE HASTE TO LIVE”, a 1954 Republic with Dorothy McGuire and Stephen McNally.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Colin, Jerry

    Night and the City is Widmark’s best film in my opinion. I saw Make Haste to Live 20 years ago. I only recall bits and pieces of it though, I do remember that McNally as always, makes a fine nasty type. It is on my re-watch list of course. I do hope the Perry Mason series is as good as the adverts look.

    Gord

    Liked by 1 person

  17. All
    Watched Carson City 1952. Enjoyable Randolph Scott Warner Brothers production.
    Land Beyond the Law 1937 Dick Foran and Wayne Morris duster. Good guys, bad guys, rustlers , lawmen, gun battles, fist fights and a pretty girl all in 58 minutes. The only thing I did not like, was that the action would stop dead for a couple of minutes so Dick Foran could burst out into song. And I do not mean a toe tapper of a tune. Brrrrrrrrr.
    Gord

    Like

    • Not to suggest a change in taste as I understand the preference, but Foran made an enormous professional success in 1943 in the Rodgers and Hart musicalization of A Connecticut Yankee.

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  18. Barry
    Must admit to not being a fan of musical films. I do enjoy the odd break in films such as John Ford’s SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON as well as FORT APACHE. And it is Dick Foran doing that great rendition of “Oh Genevieve” in FORT APACHE for Wayne and O’Hara. It works there.

    Gordon

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    • Yes, Ford liked using his company of stock players in many of his films. His utilization of Foran in FORT APACHE was perfectly choreographed into the mood and flow of things. However, it was for Shirley Temple and John Agar w/Wayne and Anna Lee (Capt Collingwood’s wife). Of the trilogy, O’Hara was absent in this one and Foran absent in the other two. RIO GRANDE featured The Sons of The Pioneers w/Ken Curtis singing ‘I’ll Take you Home Again, Kathleen’. This time with Wayne and O’Hara.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. All
    Took two more films off my weekend list. NIGHT AND THE CITY which just gets better every time I see it. Next, THE COOLER, which is one of those sleeper films that sneaks through release without anybody seeing it. A wonderful neo-noir with William H. Macy, Maria Bello and Alec Baldwin. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it.
    Only title left will be tonight’s recording of the 1st episode of the new PERRY MASON series.
    Gord

    Like

    • Just watched NIGHT AND THE CITY. As you say Colin, superb……and Gordon, I too believe this was Widmark’s best. He was great as a newcomer to film with some stirring performances portraying shockingly despicable psychotic and villainous characters for which he received notable acclaim. However, it was this film that brought out the diversity of talent he possessed. Playing the role of Harry Fabian a small time grifter/hustler desperately looking to create his big break, just to be somebody, gave the film heart. As the movie progresses one starts hoping things will turn right for Harry. In so doing we got to see the many faces of Harry Fabian. Of course the Direction and Screenplay are tops, but it is Widmark’s diversity of acting skills that makes the movie so good.

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