Saigon


1h 34m 1948

Brief Synopsis

After World War II Larry learns that his flying buddy Mike will only live a short time despite the efforts of the doctors. He takes on a profitable flying job for profiteers Maris to finance a good time for his buddy. As the plane takes off he shoves Maris' secretary Susan on board. When Mike falls for her, Larry tells her to play along for Mike's sake. She, of course, falls for Larry.

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 12, 1948
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 34m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Synopsis

In post-war Shanghai, at a U.S. Army hospital, aviation war hero Major Larry Briggs learns that his buddy, Captain Mike Perry, has only two months to live due to a head injury. Rather than break the bad news to Mike, who has no family, Larry and Sergeant Pete Rocco decide to pack Mike's remaining two months with "one hundred years of good living" after their discharge from the Army. To this aim, Larry accepts a flight assignment paying $10,000 from Alex Maris. Maris claims to be fanatical about promptness, but when his secretary, Susan Cleaver, shows up on time for the trip, and Maris arrives a half hour late with police gunning for him, Larry takes off without him in the interest of self-preservation. Although they are headed for Saigon, Larry is forced to make an emergency landing after both engines fail. Susan takes an immediate dislike to Larry, especially after he forcefully wrests his $10,000 payment from her. After checking into a small hotel, the Americans come under suspicion from police lieutenant Keon, who believes they might be smugglers. When Larry realizes that Mike is falling in love with Susan, he confronts the beautiful blonde, who is carrying $500,000 in a briefcase, and demands that she leave immediately. Larry later changes his mind because Mike is crushed by Susan's apparent disappearance, and blackmails her into agreeing to entertain Mike or be turned over to Keon. To their surprise, Keon joins them on a boat sailing for Saigon. Larry cleverly steals the money and has it mailed to himself at the post office in Saigon, so that Keon finds nothing incriminating when he searches Susan's room. Susan accuses Larry of double-crossing her, but he insists that he has saved her, and she softens when she learns of Mike's prognosis. By the time they reach Saigon, Larry sees a kinder, gentler Susan, who, in turn, has fallen in love with Larry even though Mike has proposed to her. Soon after, Maris shows up unexpectedly in Susan's hotel room and threatens to tell Mike the truth if she does not return his money. Maris and his brutal valet, Simon, hold Larry hostage until morning, when the post office opens. When Pete realizes what is happening, he struggles with Simon, but both men die after they fall from a balcony. Susan, meanwhile, cooperates with Keon, who arranges for the post office to release the package early, and explains that Maris, who stole the $500,000, is actually a war conspirator. After Maris gets the money, he and Simon open gunfire on Larry and Mike, and both Mike and Maris are killed. After Mike's funeral, Susan and Larry start a new life together.

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 12, 1948
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 34m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Julian Zimet's original story was titled "High Holiday." Pre-production Hollywood Reporter news items reported that Vanya Oakes, who worked for United Press in Asia for ten years, was scheduled to work as technical advisor on this film, but her contribution to the final film has not been confirmed. Although Richard Conte is listed in early Hollywood Reporter production charts as a cast member, he did not appear in the released picture. Saigon marked the final Paramount film in which Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake were featured as a screen couple. They were first teamed in Paramount's 1942 film This Gun for Hire (see below), and subsequently co-starred in The Glass Key and The Blue Dahlia. John Lund starred with Lizabeth Scott in a September 5, 1949 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the story.