Edited by Gordon Gates on 1/31/2016, 2:43 am
A lightweight crime programmer with a touch of noir that was put out by the b-unit at Columbia Pictures.
This one is set in a small coastal town in California. Local fisherman and tackle shop owner, Carl Benton Reid, has a sideline. He smuggles gold off shore to waiting ships who then sell it in the Orient at twice the price. His boss, William Forrest, owns a gold mine, does not like the Government set $35 an ounce price. He would rather sell on the black market for a nice profit and no income tax.
Living with Reid is his niece, Amanda Blake, (Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke) who knows nothing about her uncle's sideline. Now on the scene comes Cameron Mitchell, Mitchell and Blake are engaged to be married. Mitchell, a deep sea diver, has just spent 3 months in hospital recovering from a diving accident.
Mitchell it seems no longer wants to dive and says he is looking for a straight job. Reid agrees to have a look around for his soon to be son in-law. That night, Reid is grabbed by one of the two men he uses for the smuggling racket. The man, William Phillips, tells Reid about the other member of the gang, Robert Williams. Williams is drunk and unhappy with his cut, he is threatening to rat the group out to the police. Williams is down at a shack on the dock waiting for Reid to show in order to discuss a new split arrangement.
Mitchell shows up at the shack also looking for Reid. Williams, soon starts a fight with Mitchell and gets a sound beating for his troubles. Now Reid arrives and sends Mitchell to grab a first aid kit from the shack. Once Mitchell leaves, Reid picks up a handy piece of iron pipe and brains Williams. That fixes the possible rat problem.
When Mitchell returns with the first aid kit, Reid says, "It is a bit late for that, he is dead". Needless to say Mitchell thinks he killed the man during the fight. Reid tells him to cool down. They will take the body out and dump it in the water. Nobody will miss the drunken lout Reid says. "No point ruining your life over an accident". Mitchell agrees though he knows the Police should be called.
Mitchell now goes to work on Reid's fishing boat. Two weeks later the Police show to ask a few questions, they found the body of Williams. Reid tells them the man was a drunk and he thought Williams had just left town. The thing more or less blows over.
Mitchell is now approached by an old navy buddy about coming to work for him at Pearl Harbour. This seems like a good idea to Mitchell and his fiancé, Blake. This idea is delayed for several days as Mitchell now discovers that his future father in-law is a smuggler. Mitchell is forced by Reid to help deliver the latest shipment.
Reid has also been unhappy with his end of all the gold deliveries. He plans to dump the load overboard and mark it with a buoy. He will then tell his boss, Forrest, that he was forced to dump the cargo because the coast guard was inspecting vessels at sea. Reid then plans on using Mitchell to retrieve the gold, before taking a quick trip to Mexico to sell the goods.
Mitchell agrees to recover the gold for a price. Reid understands greed and offers the man a nice piece of the action. Needless to say, the big boss, Forrest, is not amused with this turn of events. He figures correctly that Reid is trying a fast one. He will watch Reid and swoop in after the cargo is recovered.
Now the viewer finds out that Mitchell had spilled to Blake about the whole deal. She puts the Coast Guard in on the play. Reid and company have reached the spot where the gold was dumped. Mitchell suits up and goes overboard. He finds the swag and Reid and crewman Phillips, bring the stuff up.
Reid now turns out is a bigger swine than imagined. Out comes his knife and he cuts the safety line to Mitchell's diving suit. Crewman Phillips is not happy about this, so Reid shoots him. A one way split seems OK to Reid.
The plan of course now collects a fly in the ointment. The Coast Guard arrives on the scene. A quick exchange of lead results in Reid picking up some extra weight. The Coast Guard get a line down to Mitchell just in time, and haul him up to safety. Crewman Phillips gives a dying declaration that Reid had killed Williams.
Mitchell and Blake get married, sell the tackle shop and head for the new job in Hawaii.
The director here was veteran b-film helmsman, William Berke. Berke cranked out b features with titles like, DEATH FANGS, PARDON MY GUN, MARK OF THE GORILLA and THE LOST MISSILE. He did however make a few watchable crime/noir films like, ARSON INC, HIGHWAY 13, THE FALCON'S ADVENTURE, THE MUGGER, STREET OF SINNERS, COP HATER, FBI GIRL and TREASURE OF MONTE CRISTO.