Million Dollar Pursuit


59m 1951

Film Details

Release Date
May 30, 1951
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
59m

Synopsis

When small-time criminal Monte Norris realizes that the key he has found on the ground opens the safe of Perry's Department Store, he envisions pulling off a big-time heist. Hoping his ambitious plans will impress Ronnie LaVerne, a singer at the Club Carlo, Monte sneaks into her dressing room that night, but she politely rejects him. His former partner and owner of the club, Carlo Petrov, also brushes him off, but Monte finds a willing listener in the bartender, Nick Algren. When Monte becomes drunk and belligerent, however, he is thrown out of the club. Meanwhile, Ronnie's former sweetheart, Lt. Matt Whitcomb, calls on her at the club, and Carlo gives her the rest of the night off for an impromptu date. Matt is angry that Ronnie, who recently finished a prison term for a robbery she did not commit, has returned to her old job, but Ronnie argues that she is lucky that Carlo took her, as few people will hire an ex-convict. She also explains her ulterior motive: She hopes to discover who framed her, and until she can prove her innocence, she will not jeopardize Matt's career by accepting his offer of marriage. The next day at Monte's apartment, Nick returns the department store key that Monte left carelessly at the bar, and after listening to Monte's boasts, trails him to the locksmith shop of Waxman Wilk. Waxey, a former mobster, recognizes that the key is for a Gordon lock, which is typically used for vaults, banks and jewelry stores. After Monte leaves, Nick and Waxey confer, and decide to muscle their way into Monte's scheme, bringing with them two other thugs, Louie Palino and Speed Nelson. On the day of the heist, Speed waits in the car, while the other four hoods go into the store during business hours and make the daring theft. However, as they leave, the alarm sounds, and a witness is killed before they escape to an isolated farm owned by elderly, Bible-spouting Ray Harvey. Almost immediately, the thieves hear a radio news report stating that some of the stolen money is marked, and tension within the group mounts as they try to decide their next move. During a poker game, Louie and Monte quarrel, and Nelson is accidentally killed. Feeling the need for action, the remaining members send Monte to set up a meeting with Carlo to launder the money. Because they realize that the wily fence is too clever for Monte, they order Monte not to cut any deal. Meanwhile, Matt has tied Monte to the robbery and after talking to Carlo, is also suspicious of Nick. Monte contacts Carlo, and they arrange to meet at Ronnie's apartment, unaware that the police are staking it out. Although she is not involved in their deal, Ronnie overhears them mention a time and a location, and tells Matt. Waxey and Louie, having lost their trust in Monte, decide to meet Carlo, but when the police also arrive, they shoot Carlo and his bodyguard Muller for leading them into a trap, and then are shot by the police. After hearing the deaths reported on the radio, Nick accuses Monte of setting the police trap and tries to leave, but the paranoid Monte shoots him in the back. Tired of the thieves and their killings, Ray calls the police and Monte, wanting sympathy, goes to Ronnie's apartment. When he catches Ronnie trying to call the police, Monte finally accepts that she does not reciprocate his feelings, and angrily admits that he framed her for the robbery that sent her to prison. When he threatens to kill her, she breaks away, and he follows her out the fire escape and through the alley. By then, Matt and other policemen have arrived, and she calls to them, but Monte catches her and holds her hostage. While Monte tries to negotiate a deal with the policemen, Matt sneaks up from behind and fights him. In a moment of bravado before he is arrested, Monte confesses that he framed Ronnie, and the police take him away. Later, Matt again proposes to Ronnie, and now that her innocence is proven and her self-esteem restored, she accepts.

Film Details

Release Date
May 30, 1951
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
59m

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

A 23 February 1951 Hollywood Reporter production chart lists Harold Minter as the film editor, although only Robert M. Leeds is listed in the onscreen credits. The extent of Minter's contribution to the picture, if any, has not been determined.