Riffraff


1h 20m 1947
Riffraff

Brief Synopsis

After lucking into a map to a rich oil field, a man has to dodge those out to steal it.

Film Details

Also Known As
Mr. Fix, The Amazing Mr. Hamer, The Big Angle
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adventure
Release Date
Sep 15, 1947
Premiere Information
New York opening: 28 Jun 1947; Los Angeles opening: 30 Jul 1947
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Panama

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,208ft

Synopsis

During a storm-battered flight from Peru to Panama City, a man carrying a briefcase is suddenly pushed from the airplane by his fellow passenger, Charles Hasso. In Panama, Hasso, who tells the pilot that the man jumped, is questioned by police lieutenant Rues, but is not arrested. With the man's briefcase in hand, Hasso then goes to see Dan Hammer, a tough but resourceful American, and hires him as a temporary bodyguard. While the well-connected Dan is discussing the job with Hasso, he receives a telephone call from Walter F. Gredson, who offers him work. As Dan is readying to leave to meet Gredson, Hasso surreptiously pins a map to his office bulletin board. Gredson, the vice-president of an American oil company, and his associate, Domingues, confide in Dan that they have invested their company's money in some unregistered Peruvian oil wells and that the map showing the wells has been stolen. After revealing that they suspect a man named Charles Hasso of stealing the map, Gredson and Domigues offer Dan money to find Hasso. Without disclosing his previous meeting with Hasso, Dan happily accepts the assignment for $5,000. Later, at a nightclub, Dan meets attractive singer Maxine Manning, who goes out of her way to introduce herself and flirts openly with him. Dan also meets Eric Molinar, a visiting artist looking for a back street tour of Panama City. Dan refers Molinar to a friend, then goes to Hasso's hotel, but finds Hasso dead in his overflowing bathtub. Soon after, Dan is questioned by Rues, but reveals nothing about the map. Back at his office, which has been torn apart, Dan discovers an unconscious Maxine. When she recovers, Maxine declares Dan "dangerous company" and leaves. Maxine then goes to see Gredson, who turns out to be her boyfriend, and hides when Dan unexpectedly shows up demanding explanations. Gredson, who had enlisted Maxine to spy on Dan, insists he knows nothing about Hasso's murder and tells Dan he must find the map to collect his payment. On his way back to his office, Dan joins the departing Maxine in a taxi driven by Pop, his friend and protector, and gives her his special city tour. Later, Dan is visited by Molinar, who reveals that he, too, is looking for the map. When Dan deduces that the portly Molinar was responsible for the attack on his office, Molinar quickly offers to give him a percentage of the map's profits, but Dan beats him up and notifies the police. Because Dan has no proof, however, Rues is forced to let Molinar go, and Molinar soon returns to Dan's office with two thugs. On Molinar's orders, the thugs begin pummeling Dan, hoping he will reveal the map's whereabouts. By the next morning, Molinar gives up on the battered Dan, who is then comforted by a concerned Maxine. Furious, Dan confronts Gredson again, but once again Gredson denies any knowledge of Molinar. While Dan is at Gredson's, he notices a photograph of Maxine and goes to see her. Before Dan can question her, however, a scared Maxine confesses her relationship with Gredson, but says that she is leaving Panama to get away from him. Convinced of Maxine's affection, Dan plots with her to test Gredson by telling him that he has found the map. Gredson, meanwhile, is being intimidated by Molinar and agrees to join forces with him. When Molinar hears that Dan has the map, however, he has his thugs kill Gredson and then heads for Dan's office. There Molinar and his gun-wielding thugs confront Dan and Maxine, and during the ensuing mêlée, Maxine and Molinar both notice the map on the bulletin board and struggle to grab it. Molinar escapes with the map, but unwittingly jumps into Pop's cab and, while Dan follows on foot, is driven to the police station. After Rues arrests Molinar, Dan receives his $5,000 check and a kiss from Maxine.

Film Details

Also Known As
Mr. Fix, The Amazing Mr. Hamer, The Big Angle
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adventure
Release Date
Sep 15, 1947
Premiere Information
New York opening: 28 Jun 1947; Los Angeles opening: 30 Jul 1947
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Panama

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,208ft

Articles

Riffraff (1947)


After lucking into a map to a rich oil field, a man has to dodge those out to steal it.
Riffraff (1947)

Riffraff (1947)

After lucking into a map to a rich oil field, a man has to dodge those out to steal it.

Quotes

You shouldn't do that, Mr. Hammer. It gives the place a bad reputation.
- Bar proprietor
You mean a worse reputation.
- Dan Hammer
Guys around bars talk. Anything you can find out will be worth fifty.
- Dan Hammer
No thanks. That wouldn't keep me in aspirin.
- Maxine Manning

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was The Big Angle. The title then was changed from The Big Angle to Riffraff to Mr. Fix, then back to Riffraff, then to The Amazing Mr. Hammer and back again to Riffraff. With this film, Ted Tetzlaff, who was a well-known cinematographer, returned to feature directing after a six-year absence. Tetzlaff and a camera crew took background shots for the picture in Panama, according to Hollywood Reporter. Hollywood Reporter announced that eighteen-year-old Marilyn Budgeon, who worked as a messenger at RKO, was to play a messenger in this picture under the name Marilyn Messenger, but her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Variety gives the film's running time as 70 minutes, but this is probably an error. According to modern sources, Pat O'Brien liked Martin Rackin's script so much that he arranged for Rackin to be hired as a staff writer at RKO. Rackin went on to write three more scripts at RKO for O'Brien-Fighting Father Dunne and Race Street in 1948, and A Dangerous Profession in 1949 ( entries).