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Double Deal

Double Deal(1950)

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Remind Me

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Soon after he arrives in Richfield City, Oklahoma, out-of-work oil engineer Buzz Doyle bets his last dollars in a backroom crap game, which also wipes out gambler Reno Sebastian. As a desperate Reno is about to bet his ranch, sympathetic hostess Terry Miller accuses her boss, Walter Karns, of using loaded dice. Over Karns's protests, Buzz inspects the dice and confirms Terry's suspicions. Impressed by Buzz's forcefulness, Terry and Reno offer him a job running Reno's oil well, which Reno's feuding sister Lilli is trying to obtain for herself. Reno explains that unless he strikes oil within forty-five days, Lilli can take control of the well's lease, as stipulated in their father's will. Soon after Buzz begins work on the well, Lilli, who has been feuding with Reno ever since he killed her fiancé in a gambling brawl, invites him to her house. Lilli tries to seduce Buzz into switching allegiances and then threatens him when he rejects her advances. Later, Buzz is beaten up by thugs sent by Karns, Lilli's would-be lover, and discovers a gun and Reno's dead body in his hotel room. Sheriff Morelli arrives just as Buzz is inspecting the body and is interrogated at the police station. After he learns that Reno had died hours before his body was found, however, Morelli releases Buzz. As the beleagured Buzz is about to leave Richfield, Terry informs him that she has inherited Reno's ranch and well and begs him to stay. Buzz agrees and goes with Terry to see Corpus P. Mills, a friendly, alcoholic lawyer, about Reno's will. After Terry announces that she is making Buzz her partner, Corpus reveals that just before he died, Reno discovered that pipes carrying oil from Lilli's well to the oil refinery run under his land. Delighted by the news, Terry and Buzz instruct Corpus to file a court order against Lilli, while they push to strike oil at their well before the lease expires. Determined to stop Terry and Buzz, Lilli orders Karns to sabotage the well, but Karns's thugs succeed only in temporarily shutting it down. The sabotage does hurt Buzz and Terry financially, however, and acting on Corpus' advice, Terry goes to see Lilli to ask for a mutually beneficial truce. After Lilli viciously rejects her overtures, Terry exits Lilli's house, but is immediately drawn back inside by the sound of a gunshot. Karns finds Terry standing over Lilli's body and telephones the police. Prompted by Corpus, who argues that Terry, who now stands to inherit the entire Sebastian fortune, could be the killer's next target, the sheriff releases her. Soon after, Corpus knocks out the policeman guarding Terry and forces her at gunpoint to his house. There a suddenly sober Corpus tells Terry that he is going to kill her, as he killed Reno and Lilli, in order to reclaim some of the land he lost years before when his own leases ran out. Before Corpus can carry out his plan, a gun-wielding Karns, who saw the lawyer shoot Lilli, appears, demanding a pay-off. Karns, however, is jumped by Corpus' pet monkey and is killed by Corpus. The lawyer then returns his attention to Terry, but is interrupted when Buzz knocks on the door. After hiding Karns's body and locking Terry in his basement, Corpus convinces Buzz that Terry is in her hotel room. As Buzz is about to drive off, Corpus' monkey attracts his attention and leads him to Terry. Buzz struggles with Corpus in the darkened basement, then is rescued by the police, who shoot and arrest Corpus. Later, after their well finally strikes oil, partners Terry and Buzz enjoy a much-anticipated kiss.