Miami Exposé (1956)

73 or 75 mins | Drama | September 1956

Director:

Fred F. Sears

Writer:

James B. Gordon

Producer:

Sam Katzman

Cinematographer:

Benjamin Kline

Editor:

Al Clark

Production Designer:

Paul Palmentola

Production Company:

Clover Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Shakedown on Biscayne Bay , Shakedown on Biscayne Drive and Biscayne Bay . The film begins with an onscreen narrator explaining that “this is a stunning exposé based on fact concerning a vicious attempt by organized crime to take over the entire state of Florida. But for the alert and courageous work of Florida’s law enforcement agencies and the integrity of government administrations, the threat may have been made good.” The film continues in a semi-documentary style, featuring commentary by an offscreen narrator.
       According to a Feb 1956 LAT news item, Dennis O’Keefe was originally to star in the film. Although a Mar 1956 LAT news item notes that ventriloquist Rickie Lane was conferring about a part in the picture, Lane does not appear in the released film. According to a Mar 1952 HR news item, Robert Kent was originally to have written the screenplay. The Var review notes that background shooting was done in Havana, Cuba, Miami, FL and the Florida Everglades.
       Although Miami Exposé was produced as a low-budget production and tradeshown in Jul 1956, Columbia executives decided to withhold it from general release until Sep 1956 so that the studio could build up the publicity campaign and release it as a major production, according to a Jul 1956 HR news item. The film marked the last performance of Edward Arnold, who died on 26 Apr 1956. Although some sources cite The Ambassador's Daughter (see above), which was shot earlier but released around the ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Shakedown on Biscayne Bay , Shakedown on Biscayne Drive and Biscayne Bay . The film begins with an onscreen narrator explaining that “this is a stunning exposé based on fact concerning a vicious attempt by organized crime to take over the entire state of Florida. But for the alert and courageous work of Florida’s law enforcement agencies and the integrity of government administrations, the threat may have been made good.” The film continues in a semi-documentary style, featuring commentary by an offscreen narrator.
       According to a Feb 1956 LAT news item, Dennis O’Keefe was originally to star in the film. Although a Mar 1956 LAT news item notes that ventriloquist Rickie Lane was conferring about a part in the picture, Lane does not appear in the released film. According to a Mar 1952 HR news item, Robert Kent was originally to have written the screenplay. The Var review notes that background shooting was done in Havana, Cuba, Miami, FL and the Florida Everglades.
       Although Miami Exposé was produced as a low-budget production and tradeshown in Jul 1956, Columbia executives decided to withhold it from general release until Sep 1956 so that the studio could build up the publicity campaign and release it as a major production, according to a Jul 1956 HR news item. The film marked the last performance of Edward Arnold, who died on 26 Apr 1956. Although some sources cite The Ambassador's Daughter (see above), which was shot earlier but released around the same time as Miami Exposé , as Arnold's last film, according to the Var review, the longtime character actor was fatally stricken while making Miami Exposé . More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4 Aug 1956.
---
Daily Variety
25 Jul 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
2 Aug 56
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Mar 1956
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Mar 1956
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Apr 1956
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
3 May 1956
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jul 1956
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 56
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
29 Feb 1956.
---
Los Angeles Times
16 Mar 1956.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
11 Aug 56
p. 26.
Variety
25 Jul 56
p. 6.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Shakedown on Biscayne Drive
Shakedown on Biscayne Bay
Biscayne Bay
Release Date:
September 1956
Production Date:
mid March--9 April 1956
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
10 October 1956
Copyright Number:
LP7311
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
73 or 75
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17687
SYNOPSIS

On a sleepy Sunday afternoon in Miami, Florida, criminal attorney Raymond Sheridan offers to pay lobbyist Oliver Tubbs $1,000,000 to direct a campaign to legalize gambling in Florida. Meanwhile, at the Miami police Homicide Department, Lt. Bart Scott tells his superior and good friend, Capt. Harry Elkins, that he plans to retire in two years. Bart then goes home to have dinner with fiancée Anne Easton and her young son Stevie. Anne, whose police officer husband was killed in the line of duty, has refused to marry Bart until he retires from the force. While Anne prepares dinner, Elkins receives an anonymous tip about a stabbing at the Cromwell Hotel and goes to investigate. Bart’s tranquil evening then comes to an abrupt end when he is notified that the dead body of Elkins and that of an unidentified gunman have been discovered at the Cromwell. Hurrying to the hotel, Bart learns that a woman was seen running out of the room just after the murders. Meanwhile, Morrie Pell, the hotel assassin, reports to his employer, Sheridan, that Lila Hodges, the slain gunman’s wife, witnessed the killings, prompting Sheridan to order Pell to kill her, too. After the dead man is identified as Joey Hodges, a triggerman working for gangster Louis Ascot, who runs a gambling organization in Havana, Bart realizes that the woman seen fleeing the scene must be Joey’s wife Lila and deduces she must have sought refuge with Louis in Cuba. Upon arriving in Havana, Bart drives to Louis’ villa and announces that he plans to take Lila back to Miami as a material witness. Lila is reluctant ... +


On a sleepy Sunday afternoon in Miami, Florida, criminal attorney Raymond Sheridan offers to pay lobbyist Oliver Tubbs $1,000,000 to direct a campaign to legalize gambling in Florida. Meanwhile, at the Miami police Homicide Department, Lt. Bart Scott tells his superior and good friend, Capt. Harry Elkins, that he plans to retire in two years. Bart then goes home to have dinner with fiancée Anne Easton and her young son Stevie. Anne, whose police officer husband was killed in the line of duty, has refused to marry Bart until he retires from the force. While Anne prepares dinner, Elkins receives an anonymous tip about a stabbing at the Cromwell Hotel and goes to investigate. Bart’s tranquil evening then comes to an abrupt end when he is notified that the dead body of Elkins and that of an unidentified gunman have been discovered at the Cromwell. Hurrying to the hotel, Bart learns that a woman was seen running out of the room just after the murders. Meanwhile, Morrie Pell, the hotel assassin, reports to his employer, Sheridan, that Lila Hodges, the slain gunman’s wife, witnessed the killings, prompting Sheridan to order Pell to kill her, too. After the dead man is identified as Joey Hodges, a triggerman working for gangster Louis Ascot, who runs a gambling organization in Havana, Bart realizes that the woman seen fleeing the scene must be Joey’s wife Lila and deduces she must have sought refuge with Louis in Cuba. Upon arriving in Havana, Bart drives to Louis’ villa and announces that he plans to take Lila back to Miami as a material witness. Lila is reluctant to go until Pell takes a shot at her and misses, convincing her that it would be safer to be in police custody in Miami. When both Louis and Lila refuse to reveal what Joey was doing in Miami, Bart decides to intimidate them into talking. Rather than taking Lila directly back to Miami, Bart squires her around town, making her a target. After Lila is shot at once again, Bart, aware that Louis has long been in love with Lila, tells the gambler that he plans to make Lila a walking target until his questions are answered. Lila’s peril compels Bart to reveal that Joey was in Miami to put an end to the push for legalized gambling in the state. Louis then discloses that Sheridan has hired Tubbs to advance his interests and was responsible for Joey’s murder. Bart escorts Lila back to Miami, but when she is poisoned on the flight home, Bart decides to make Sheridan believe that Lila is dead so that he will lower his guard. After publicizing Lila’s death, Bart secludes her in his cabin in the Everglades, along with Anne, Stevie and police officer Tim Grogan. Sheridan, meanwhile, uses bribery and blackmail to accelerate his campaign, but Tubbs balks when Sheridan forces him to blackmail Harry Tremont, an upstanding citizen, into supporting his campaign. After Tremont refuses to capitulate, Sheridan orders him killed. When Louis discovers Lila’s hideout in the swamps, Bart, concerned that Sheridan’s thugs may have followed Louis, conceives of a plan to flush out Sheridan. After Bart brings Tubbs in for questioning about Tremont’s murder, he deliberately switches on the intercom, then walks out of the office to confer with the police chief. In the adjacent office, Bart tells the chief that Lila is alive and able to link Tubbs to Sheridan. As soon as he is released, Tubbs informs Sheridan what he has heard. After instructing Tubbs to leave the country immediately, Sheridan sends Pell and his thugs to kill Lila. Having tailed Louis on his boat trip through the Everglades, Pell realizes that Lila must be hiding there and hires a boat captain to take them into the swamps. Before departing, the captain alerts Bart, and Bart then phones Grogan to warn him about the killers’ arrival. As Bart hands out guns to Lila and Anne so that they can defend themselves, Lila becomes hysterical, but young Stevie’s courage steadies her. When the captain stalls for time to allow the police boat to catch up, Pell becomes impatient and orders him to speed up. When the thugs dock, Lila, Grogan and Anne fend them off with their weapons, Soon after, Bart and reinforcements arrive and apprehend Pell and his gang. As Bart and Anne embrace, Lila shyly links her arm through Grogan’s. At Sheridan’s villa, the police find Sheridan shot dead, and a dazed Tubbs sitting across from him, gun in hand.

+

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Crime


Subject

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

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