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The Bribe ()

directed by
featuring Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Charles Laughton, Vincent Price, John Hodiak

Federal agent Robert Taylor journeys to a mythical South American community, there to break up a war-surplus contraband racket. American playboy Vincent Price is the brains of the outfit, aided and abetted by the disreputable Charles Laughton and John Hodiak. Ava Gardner, Hodiak's wife, takes over for her husband when he's sidelined by a heart condition. Taylor tries to get to the gang boss by romancing Gardner; she eventually shifts loyalties, but Price tries to frame both Gardner and Taylor so that he can get off scot-free. Taylor finally manages to overcome Price during a oversized fireworks display at a local festival. Hampered by the old-fashioned direction of Robert Z. Leonard, The Bribe is slow going until its spectacular climax, which was later excerpted in toto and re-used in Steve Martin's detective spoof Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (82). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi Hide synopsis

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