Manfish/Wetbacks [DVD]

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Per its title, Wetbacks deals with the smuggling into the US of illegal Mexican aliens. The villains are played by John Hoyt and, of all people, Harold "The Great Gildersleeve" Peary. Hoping to smash Hoyt and Peary's smuggling operation is fishing-boat skipper Lloyd Bridges, who, unbeknownst to himself, is being monitored by the US immigration service. Nancy Gates costars as a supposed femme fatale who turns out to be one of the good guys; likewise deceptively cast is veteran screen heavy Barton MacLaine. Wetbacks was directed by Hank McCune, a part-time comedian whose early-1950s TV sitcom was allegedly the first such program to utilize a recorded laughtrack. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Edgar Allan Poe's The Gold Bug and The Tell-Tale Heart were updated and woven together into a single narrative in the ultra-cheap adventure yarn Manfish. John Bromfield, Lon Chaney Jr. and Victor Jory head the cast as three fortune hunters, combing the West Indies in search of buried treasure. The heavy of the piece is Jory, who murders Bromfield, weighs down the body and throws it overboard, with consequences not unlike those suffered by Poe's Tell-Tale Heart protagonist. Poor, simple-minded Chaney ends up coming out the winner, if only by default. The feminine angle is handled by Barbara Nichols (bad, brassy blonde) and Tessa Pendergast (good, dark-skinned native lass). Because of a handful of West Indian song interludes, Manfish was rerealeased as Calypso, in hopes of cashing in on the then-popular musical craze. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Lloyd Bridges
    Lloyd Bridges - Jim Benson
  • Nancy Gates
    Nancy Gates - Sally Parker
  • Barton MacLane
    Barton MacLane - Karl Shanks
  • Image coming soon
    John Hoyt - Steve Bodine
  • Image coming soon
    Harold Peary - Juan Ortega
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