Second Chance (1953)

81-82 mins | Drama | 18 July 1953

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HISTORY

According to an Apr 1951 HR news item, the story of Second Chance was inspired by an actual, recent event in Rio de Janeiro, in which a cable car spanning the bay broke down and was suspended with fourteen passengers for ten hours. A Nov 1951 HR news item announced that Susan Hayward would star in the picture. Both Robert Mitchum and Jack Palance were former professional boxers. Abel Fernandez, who plays "Rivera," was a real-life boxer in Mexico and made his screen debut in the film. Although a HR news item lists the Los Amigos Trio in the cast, their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Most of the film was shot in Mexico, including Taxco, near Mexico City, according to HR news items. Modern sources list Cuernavaca as an additional location. Second Chance marked RKO's first 3-D picture, and its first stereophonic release. According to a Sep 1953 Var article, the film did well at the box-office, despite the high cost of the 3-D, stereophonic prints and the limited number of theaters equipped for 3-D projection. The film also was released in standard ... More Less

According to an Apr 1951 HR news item, the story of Second Chance was inspired by an actual, recent event in Rio de Janeiro, in which a cable car spanning the bay broke down and was suspended with fourteen passengers for ten hours. A Nov 1951 HR news item announced that Susan Hayward would star in the picture. Both Robert Mitchum and Jack Palance were former professional boxers. Abel Fernandez, who plays "Rivera," was a real-life boxer in Mexico and made his screen debut in the film. Although a HR news item lists the Los Amigos Trio in the cast, their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Most of the film was shot in Mexico, including Taxco, near Mexico City, according to HR news items. Modern sources list Cuernavaca as an additional location. Second Chance marked RKO's first 3-D picture, and its first stereophonic release. According to a Sep 1953 Var article, the film did well at the box-office, despite the high cost of the 3-D, stereophonic prints and the limited number of theaters equipped for 3-D projection. The film also was released in standard 2-D. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
18 Jul 1953.
---
Daily Variety
10 Jul 53
p. 3.
Film Daily
10 Jul 53
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Feb 53
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Mar 53
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 53
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Apr 51
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Nov 51
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Mar 53
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Apr 53
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 53
p. 3.
Los Angeles Herald Express
25 Mar 1953.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
18 Jul 53
p. 1919.
New York Times
23 Jul 53
p. 20.
Newsweek
10 Aug 1953.
---
Variety
15 Jul 53
p. 6.
Variety
30 Sep 1953.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
An Edmund Grainger Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story and adpt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Ed supv
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Asst prod mgr
Scr supv
Robert Mitchum's boxing trainer
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 July 1953
Production Date:
mid March--late April 1953
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
Copyright Date:
15 July 1953
Copyright Number:
LP3011
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
Technicolor; Eastman Color
Widescreen/ratio
3-D
Duration(in mins):
81-82
Length(in feet):
7,389
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16452
SYNOPSIS

As soon as he checks into a hotel in Porto Olieno, Mexico, New York bookkeeper Edward Dawson is accosted in his room by thug Cappy Gordon. Although Dawson denies Cappy's charges that he has betrayed their boss, gangster Vic Spalato, who is under investigation by the U.S. Senate, Cappy shoots the bookkeeper in cold blood. The next day, in San Cristóbal, Spalato's former girl friend, singer Clare Sinclair, reads about Dawson's murder in the newspaper and panics. While arranging to leave town, Clare, who now goes by the name Sheppard, spots Cappy in her hotel lobby and flees in a cab, eventually ending up at a bullfight arena. There, as American boxer Russ Lambert prepares to fight his Mexican challenger Rivera, Clare seeks out her boss, bar owner Felipe. Desperate for cash, Clare sells Felipe a valuable pair of earrings, then watches as Russ, whose career in the States crumbled after he accidentally killed an opponent, wins the match. Just then, Clare sees Cappy among the spectators and hurries out of the arena. Doggedly, Cappy follows Clare through the streets and into a telegraph office, stopping Clare from sending a telegram to the Senate committee, stating that she will testify against Spalato. After Cappy declares his love and offers to spare her life if she runs off with him, Clare bolts from the office and heads for Felipe's bar. By threatening to expose Felipe to Cappy, Clare convinces Felipe to persuade Russ to meet her at the secluded Posado de Don Pascual. There, Clare encourages Russ's romantic interest, but does not tell him about Cappy or Spalato. When Russ suggests they take ... +


As soon as he checks into a hotel in Porto Olieno, Mexico, New York bookkeeper Edward Dawson is accosted in his room by thug Cappy Gordon. Although Dawson denies Cappy's charges that he has betrayed their boss, gangster Vic Spalato, who is under investigation by the U.S. Senate, Cappy shoots the bookkeeper in cold blood. The next day, in San Cristóbal, Spalato's former girl friend, singer Clare Sinclair, reads about Dawson's murder in the newspaper and panics. While arranging to leave town, Clare, who now goes by the name Sheppard, spots Cappy in her hotel lobby and flees in a cab, eventually ending up at a bullfight arena. There, as American boxer Russ Lambert prepares to fight his Mexican challenger Rivera, Clare seeks out her boss, bar owner Felipe. Desperate for cash, Clare sells Felipe a valuable pair of earrings, then watches as Russ, whose career in the States crumbled after he accidentally killed an opponent, wins the match. Just then, Clare sees Cappy among the spectators and hurries out of the arena. Doggedly, Cappy follows Clare through the streets and into a telegraph office, stopping Clare from sending a telegram to the Senate committee, stating that she will testify against Spalato. After Cappy declares his love and offers to spare her life if she runs off with him, Clare bolts from the office and heads for Felipe's bar. By threatening to expose Felipe to Cappy, Clare convinces Felipe to persuade Russ to meet her at the secluded Posado de Don Pascual. There, Clare encourages Russ's romantic interest, but does not tell him about Cappy or Spalato. When Russ suggests they take the funicular to La Cumbre, an isolated, mountaintop village, Clare eagerly agrees. In La Cumbre, the couple enjoy a quiet drink and stroll through the marketplace, unaware that Cappy, who forced Felipe to tell him Clare's whereabouts, is nearby. They then watch a provocative dance, performed by a young man and woman, whose older husband Vasco drags her off in a jealous fury. Upset by the sight, Clare and Russ head toward the hotel where they will be spending the night, and in the moonlight, Russ kisses Clare. After Russ reveals that he is aware of her relationship with Spalato, Clare confesses that she is attracted to him but is not free of her past. The next morning, at the hotel, a newly confident Russ announces that he is resuming his career in the States right after he boxes his next match. Russ persuades Clare to accompany him, but his phone call to his manager, Charlie Malloy, is overheard by Cappy, who then confronts Clare. Afraid that Cappy will shoot Russ, Clare agrees to go with Cappy, on condition he leave Russ alone. Later, Russ discovers that Clare has checked out and dashes to the funicular, jumping aboard just as it is departing with Clare and Cappy, as well as Vasco, who has been arrested by policeman Hernandez for killing his wife the night before. Still unaware of Cappy's mission, Russ questions Clare about her change of heart, but she refuses to tell him why she is abandoning him. Halfway down the mountain, Cappy tries to accost Clare on the car's parapet, but Russ comes to her rescue, and Cappy is disarmed. After Clare finally tells Russ the truth about Cappy, Russ and Cappy start to fight, causing the car to sway dangerously. One of the cables pulling the car then snaps, completely disabling the funicular. With no other means of rescue, Vasco volunteers to try to swing on a spare cable to the nearest cliffside and climb down for help. Vasco's attempt fails, however, and he plummets to his death. Russ tries next and succeeds, but after he goes, one of the other passengers, Englishman Mr. Woburn, declares that only six people will fit in the rescue car, and the disabled car's cable will not last long enough for a second run. After three men are chosen to stay behind, including Woburn and the conductor, Cappy grabs Hernandez' gun, shooting him in the process, and announces that he and Clare are the only two who are going. Just then, Russ returns with the rescue car and jumps Cappy. The two men fight on top of the disabled car, and Russ finally sends Cappy hurtling to his death. Moments before the cable gives way, a second car arrives, and all the passengers, including an embracing Clare and Russ, are rescued. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.