Tough Assignment


1h 4m 1949

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 24, 1949
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 8 Nov 1949
Production Company
Lippert Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Lippert Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 4m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,795ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

Dan and Margie Reilly are a newlywed reporter/photographer team, living in Los Angeles. When they go to a market to buy meat for their first home-cooked meal, Margie decides to take a photograph to commemorate the event, but three men leaving the market spoil her shot. Inside, Dan and Margie find the elderly owner, Mr. Schultz, roughed up on the floor. Although Mrs. Schultz is comforting him, he is afraid to tell Dan what happened. After Margie phones for a doctor, they leave for home to develop the film, as Dan has realized that the three men they photographed beat Schultz. However, they are followed by two of the thugs, Vince and Sniffy, and Dan is knocked out. Sniffy then roughs up Margie in the dark room and takes the film. Later, Dan calls his newspaper and tells his editor, Hutchinson, that he is going to do some investigating for a story, then leaves to interview Patterson of the Bureau of Livestock Identification. Dan informs Patterson that he has talked with several butchers but none were willing to tell him what is going on. Patterson explains that a lot of bootleg beef is being sold without state or federal inspection and that his office is trying to shut down the racket. When Dan's paper announces the beginning of a series of articles on the subject, a butcher, Al Foster, phones Dan to say that he has information about the people running the racket. They arrange to meet immediately, but the meeting is a setup and Dan is kidnapped by Vince and Sniffy, who blindfold him and take him to the boss, Morgan. Morgan attempts to bribe Dan, and when he refuses, he is roughed up and dumped at his own front door. The next day, Dan and Margie stake out Schultz's store and see a side of beef being delivered from a panel truck, which they follow to a ranch. Later, posing as itinerant fruit-pickers, Jim and Amy Hill, they apply for work at the ranch and Margie is hired as a cook. Morgan, meanwhile, instructs Vince and Sniffy to tell the other gang members not to send any more beef into town, but keep increasing the herd by rustling. Morgan also wants Dan "taken care of." When Steve, one of the gang, tries to get fresh with Margie, he and Dan get into a fistfight. Later, Sniffy drives up with Vince and his girl friend Gloria. When a pilot, who spots herds for rustling, phones in with news of a likely herd, Grant, the ranch boss, plans to do the job that night. He is short-handed, however, so takes Dan along. After they load a big truck full of cattle, Dan learns from Herman, another gang member, where the next rustling will take place and phones his editor. As Steve is drunk, Grant takes Dan with them again. The rustling is interrupted by two ranchers who attempt to stop them. Dan shoots at them and apparently kills one. Although both "ranchers" were sent by Dan's editor and Dan was firing blanks, his newspaper reports that a rancher was killed during a rustling raid. Morgan is enraged by the publicity and drives to the ranch, but Dan ducks out the back door and avoids the confrontation. While Margie attempts to sneak a photo of Morgan with the others, the gang suspects Steve of tipping off the ranchers and Morgan fires him. When Steve moves to retaliate, Vince shoots him and Margie captures the attack on film. On their way back to town, Morgan and Vince decide to have Dan eliminate "Reilly," not realizing Dan's true identity. Morgan tells Grant to send Dan into town and Dan goes reluctantly. After he leaves, Margie manages to phone Dan's newspaper, but while Vince and and Sniffy are searching Dan's house, they find a photograph of Margie, whom Vince recognizes as their cook. Because the blindfold was covering Dan's face at their first meeting, Morgan fails to recognize Dan and offers him a thousand dollars to kill "Reilly." However, Vince and Sniffy arrive with the photo and Dan's cover is blown. He slugs Sniffy, then dives through a window and drives off, pursued by Morgan and the others. Dan heads for the ranch and finds the police already there, having been summoned by editor Hutchinson. After a gunfight, the police arrest the gang. Dan's newspaper trumpets his heroic exploits, and he and Margie resume their regular routine.

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 24, 1949
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 8 Nov 1949
Production Company
Lippert Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Lippert Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 4m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,795ft (7 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

One of a handful of films shot with "The new Garutso lens for 3-Dimensional effect". The lens in question was hardly "new", having been developed and used in films since the '30's, but it made great ballyhoo. The lens is an extreme wide angle device that could be used with a large assortment of diopter filters, hence making everything seem, from foreground to background, in perfect focus.

Notes

In an opening title, the film acknowledges the cooperation and information given the producers by the Bureau of Livestock Identification, Department of Agriculture, State of California, and by L. C. Garrison, supervising inspector in the Los Angeles office.