GUN RUNNERS, THE
(director: Don Siegel; screenwriters: from the novel by Ernest Hemingway/Daniel Mainwaring; cinematographer: Hal Mohr; editor: Chester W. Schaeffer; music: Leith Stevens; cast: Audie Murphy (Sam Martin), Everett Sloane (Harvey), Eddie Albert (Hanagan), Patricia Owens (Lucy Martin), Gita Hall (Eva), Carlos Romero (Carlos Contreras); Runtime: 83; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Clarence Greene; United Artists; 1958)
“It was ok with me only because I like both Don Siegel and Audie Murphy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Don Siegel’s ordinary remake of “To Have and Have Not” (its third version) is based on Ernest Hemingway’s short story. The plot is updated to the early days of the Cuban revolution. Daniel Mainwaring handles the melodramatic screenplay. It was ok with me only because I like both Don Siegel and Audie Murphy, and though there’s nothing to write home about this adventure tale there’s also not much to dislike.
Sam Martin (Audie Murphy) is a financially scrapped skipper of a charter fishing boat in Key West, Florida. His loyal first mate is has-been wino Harvey (Everett Sloane). Faced with the prospects of losing his boat, Sam innocently takes out Hanagan (Eddie Albert) and his hot Swedish babe Eva on a fishing expedition and then accepts extra payment for a side trip overnight to Havana. Sam takes the risk even though Cuba has a revolution going on and the U.S. has declared it off limits, which means losing his boat if caught. What he doesn’t realize is that Hanagan is a gun runner for the revolutionaries.
The film builds to the action-packed climactic boat ride to Cuba, with a desperate Sam agreeing to work for Hanagan’s organization. But when Harvey is threatened by the untrustworthy Hanagan and his goons, Sam foils their operation. A wounded Sam returns home after the shootout to his loving wife Lucy, and Harvey tells us Sam couldn’t do it because there’s no bad in him.
REVIEWED ON 10/21/2005 GRADE: B- https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/