Cast & Crew
Adventurer Pat Morrison learns that $3,000,000 in gold was hidden from the Japanese invaders of Corregidor during the early days of World War II, and he decides to go after the loot. Since the gold was buried in the labyrinths of Malinta Hill by an Army detail of four men who thought they were hiding official records, Morrison recruits the same four men for his expedition. Former officer Trev Jones is now an alcoholic who has led his daughter Bobby to believe that he is dead; Jesus Jimenez Riley is a Moro pearl diver whose wife, Mariko, steals pearls from her husband and is having an affair with Morrison; Draco is a burly Apache living in Arizona; and the bigoted Hansen is now a merchant seaman. Draco arrives from the States and joins Morrison, Riley, and Jones in breaking Hansen out of the jail where he is being held on a morals charge. As Morrison is about to put his plan into action, however, Jones is kidnaped and held by an unscrupulous blackmailer known as Wombat. Wombat informs Bobby that her father is alive and will be returned to her for a fee of $500 plus sexual favors. Morrison comes to Bobby's aid, and the two develop a mutual attraction. Once Morrison and his men have rescued Jones, they set out to recover the gold. Reenacting the parts they played in burying the gold many years ago, the four men eventually lead Morrison to the cache. Success turns to disaster, however, when Hansen and Draco come to blows and their fighting disrupts Morrison's time schedule. Hansen is killed by the Philippine guards, and the others are captured. After learning that the jealous Mariko tipped off the authorities, a handcuffed Morrison waves farewell to Bobby as she leaves to return to the United States.
John C. Higgins
John F. Schreyer
Impasse (1969) - Impasse
A native New Yorker born in 1930, Anne Francis began acting as a child and even made her stage debut opposite Gertrude Lawrence on Broadway in 1941 in Lady in the Dark. After many years in Hollywood, she broke through in the 1950s with a string of superior leading roles in respected dramas like Bad Day at Black Rock and Blackboard Jungle (both 1955). However, her most iconic role came the following year as Alta, the daughter in short cosmic skirts in MGM's Forbidden Planet. She also became a busy TV actress and appeared in two memorable episodes of The Twilight Zone, "The After Hours" and "Jess-Belle;" the latter was part of the series' experimental one-hour format which also yielded one of co-star Reynolds' earliest appearances in "The Bard." Francis' well-received 1965 appearance on the TV show Burke's Law as Honey West led to a well-remembered spin-off series the same year named after her character which ran through 1966. Francis' anticipated comeback feature in 1968, Funny Girl, was thwarted when her part became increasingly whittled down during production. But the same year as Impasse she tried her hand at goofball comedy opposite Jerry Lewis in Hook, Line and Sinker and, most surprisingly, a lead role in Don Knotts' raciest comedy, The Love God? She became a regular guest star on dozens of shows for decades (even reuniting with Burt Reynolds again in 1970 on the episode "Murder by Proxy" from the TV series Dan August), working steadily until health issues caused her to retire in 2004.
By 1969, English-language films shot in the Philippines had become commonplace as the structure to shoot productions had already been in place for decades. One of Asia's earliest film industries, the Philippines offered attractive, exotic locations which proved especially useful for war, action, and horror films, with local actors often appearing frequently to support American and British stars flown in for marquee value. Impasse was no exception, as it featured not only a busy Filipino cinematographer, Nonong Rasca (credited here as Mars B. Rasca, who went on to lens the 1974 drive-in perennial, The Thirsty Dead), but one of the country's busiest supporting actors, Vic Diaz. Rotund and energetic, he enlivened over a hundred productions with memorable appearances in the Pam Grier vehicles The Big Bird Cage (1972) and Black Mama, White Mama (1973) and numerous other action films including Savage Sisters (1974) and Too Hot to Handle (1977).
The director of Impasse, Richard Benedict, had been an actor since the mid-1940s including memorable appearances in Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole (1951) and sci-fi films like Bert I. Gordon's Beginning of the End (1957) and the fondly-remembered It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958). (He can also be seen briefly in Impasse in an uncredited appearance as the bartender in the The Ugly American.) He decided to try his hand at directing in 1962 on several TV shows (including Surfside 6) and continued doing small screen work through the early 1980s. His feature films were more rare, though he did helm the minor children's fantasy Mike and the Mermaid (1964), which he also wrote, and the teenage musical Winter A-Go-Go (1965). For Impasse he had one of his strongest casts with a heavy emphasis on tough male character actors including Lyle Bettger (a frequent western villain seen in films like 1957's Gunfight at the O.K. Corral) and blacklisted actor Jeff Corey (seen in later westerns like True Grit and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, both in 1969), who was also one of Hollywood's preeminent acting teachers.
The film's Canadian-born screenwriter, John C. Higgins, had established himself in the 1940s with his hard-bitten scenarios and dialogue for a string of crime films including T-Men (1947), Raw Deal (1948), and He Walked by Night (1948). The two subsequent decades show him expanding his range with an all-star horror film in 1956 (The Black Sleep) and one of the most unusual science fiction films of the era, Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964). After Impasse, he returned to the Philippines setting again, albeit in a very different context, for his final screenplay, the Tom Selleck horror film Daughters of Satan in 1972.
Producer: Hal Klein
Director: Richard Benedict
Screenplay: John C. Higgins
Cinematography: Mars B. Rasca
Music: Philip Springer
Film Editing: John F. Schreyer
Cast: Burt Reynolds (Pat Morrison), Anne Francis (Bobby Jones), Lyle Bettger (Hansen), Rodolfo Acosta (Draco), Jeff Corey (Wombat), Clarke Gordon (Trev Jones), Miko Mayama (Mariko), Joanne Dalsass (Penny), Vic Diaz (Jesus), Dely Atay-atayan (Pear Blossom).
by Nathaniel Thompson
Impasse (1969) - Impasse
Filmed on location in the Philippines. The working title of this film is Golden Bullet.
Released in United States Spring May 1969
Released in United States Spring May 1969