7.1/10
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43 user 22 critic

Border Incident (1949)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 October 1949 (USA)
Mexican and American federal agents tackle a vicious gang exploiting illegal farm workers in southern California.

Director:

Anthony Mann

Writers:

John C. Higgins (screenplay), John C. Higgins (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ricardo Montalban ... Pablo Rodriguez
George Murphy ... Jack Bearnes
Howard Da Silva ... Owen Parkson
James Mitchell ... Juan Garcia
Arnold Moss ... Zopilote
Alfonso Bedoya ... Cuchillo
Teresa Celli ... Maria
Charles McGraw ... Jeff Amboy
José Torvay ... Pocoloco (as Jose Torvay)
John Ridgely ... Mr. Neley
Arthur Hunnicutt ... Clayton Nordell
Sig Ruman ... Hugo Wolfgang Ulrich
Otto Waldis ... Fritz
Edit

Storyline

To penetrate a gang exploiting illegal Mexican farmworkers smuggled into California (and leaving no live witnesses), Mexican federal agent Pablo Rodriguez poses as an ignorant bracero, while his American counterpart Jack Bearnes works from outside. Soon, both are in deadly danger from the ringleader, sinister rancher Owen Parkson, and find night on the farm to be full of shadowy film-noir menace... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Filmed where it happens! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

28 October 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Border Patrol See more »

Filming Locations:

Calexico, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$749,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$580,000, 31 December 1949

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$908,000, 31 December 1949
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Near movie's end, Pablo Rodriguez (Montalban) is almost fully submerged in quicksand. However, immediately upon being pulled out, he looks like he's had a shower; the quicksand that had been on his face and hair is completely gone. See more »

Quotes

Zopilote: What is cheaper than time, senor? Everybody has the same amount.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fifty-six And 1/2 Years On The Road To Nowhere
8 June 2006 | by Patriotlad@aol.comSee all my reviews

One of the few benefits of working late hours is the chance to see hard-to-find movies on Turner Classic Movies ( TCM ) and on a few other cable television channels ( ENCORE ). One of the reasons to see 'film noir' productions on TCM is that they seldom circulate in any other forums, and also, the way these films were made works OK on a regular television screen and system.

"Border Incident" is one of those TCM presentations I've seen more than once now, and I am most favorably impressed with it. My initial vote was for a seven but after re-thinking it, I sent in a re-vote of eight.

The camera work, cinematography, was A + in my opinion. It has the best characteristics of what we would now call "docu-drama." Some of these older movies have great acting and corny plots, and in some "film noir" stories you get great story-telling and B + acting. I guess that's why they were called "B" movies.

Actually, that's not true, as I believe the "B" assignment meant that the movie was sent out as the second part of a double feature package.

Fifty-six years after the facts which make up this docu-drama were deemed to be important, the only change in them facts is for the worse.

Greed and opportunism still dominate the "politics of temporary labor" or more accurately, the "politics of cheap labor." There's something gnarly about this movie, and it isn't just about the obvious elements of the plot, being avarice, sadism and murder ....

As a young lad growing up in Texas, I learned first hand how difficult life was and could be for migrant farm workers. Mexican and native-born.

The people-smuggling business has been much in the news lately and it has been the basic theme of several really well-done movies, and I can recommend "The Transporter" as being one, and "The Empire Of The Wolves" with Jean Reno as being another to see on DVD.

There's a lot of real humanity in "Border Incident," and yet it all plays out in a stark and tragic way ....

It's definitely not a modernistic or post-modern cinematic mess.

It's a quality film drama on a very important subject.


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