Search - Borderline on DVD

Actors: Morris Ankrum, Raymond Burr, Donald Diamond, Nacho Galindo, Pepe Hern
Director: William Seiter
Genres: Comedy, Drama
UR     2004     1hr 28min

Two undercover American G-Men carry a load of drugs up from Mexico but don't know each other's identity. A rival gang is in hot pursuit and when one of their informants is killed, they must cover up the death to keep the c...  more »

Movie Details

Actors: Morris Ankrum, Raymond Burr, Donald Diamond, Nacho Galindo, Pepe Hern
Director: William Seiter
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Drama
Studio: Genius Entertainment
Format: DVD
DVD Release Date: 01/01/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 28min
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 3
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Not noir!
Snowbrocade | Santa Barbara, CA | 09/05/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This film was mentioned in a documentary about noir films, so I was looking forward to the stark lighting, pessimistic and violent story line, cynical men and sultry women. Unfortunately this was a romantic comedy along the lines of a Doris Day 50's film.

The story barely holds together about a woman (Claire Trevor) working for LAPD who goes undercover in Mexico and ends up traveling with Fred MacMurray who plays a drug dealer. The head drug dealer (Raymond Burr) is after them and there are chases and hi-jinks through the Mexican countryside.

After a while I lost track of the plot and realized that the story only served to put MacMurray and Trevor in as many romantic situations as possible. MacMurray was pretty sexy and played a bad guy and a romantic lead with his usual expertise. Trevor was a good comedic actress, she reminded me a lot of Lucille Ball. Burr burned up the screen whenever he appeared--a wonderful intense actor.

Overall, not my cup of tea. I would give it two stars except I think the actors did a really good job; they held together an otherwise poorly constructed film."
An amusing romantic chase movie, with drugs, death and Raymo
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 08/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Well, we have ballet noir (The Car Man (Matthew Bourne)), family values noir (Home Sweet Homicide), even "Oh, come on, that's not noir" noir (The Third Man - Criterion Collection (2-Disc Edition)). Why not easy-going romantic comedy noir? Borderline, with Claire Trevor and Fred MacMurray, fills a noir niche no one seems to have noticed was empty. And not badly, either.

Pete Ritchie (Raymond Burr) is a shrewd, ruthless drug dealer. The Feds want him, but Ritchie can spot a Fed agent at ten yards. He's holed up in a dusty Mexican town where he sends drug shipments into the States using innocent tourists as well as paid mules. Ritchie's smart but he's a sucker for dames. That's where Madeleine Haley (Claire Trevor) comes in. She's an L.A. cop and, as she points out to the Feds, a female. In short order, Gladys LaRue arrives in this Mexican town and gets a job singing and dancing (badly) in a sleazy cantina that Ritchie, in a white suit, frequents. Just when she starts making progress with Ritchie in his room, Johnny Macklin, a tough guy for hire, bursts in with a gun in his hand and a plan in his head. He's been hired by another gangster to hijack one of Ritchie's drug shipments. Wait a minute...isn't that Fred MacMurray?

Then we realize -- this is no spoiler -- that there are two U.S. agents working to bag Ritchie, and neither knows about the other. It's not long before the two of them are on the road headed for the U. S, staying overnight -- coyly, of course -- in a sleazy hotel. They're toting the drug shipment Ritchie's gangster competitor assigned them, as well as a suspicious music box, a fruitcake and a parrot in a big cage. Soon there's cold cream on Gladys' face and everything from a container for fingerprint power to a camera in Macklin's coat pockets. When one goes to the lobby, the other whips out a camera to take secret photos. When one goes down the hall for a bath, the other...whips out a camera to take secret photos. And then Ritchie and his goons show up and a dangerous race, complete with cheery Mexican music and wise cracks, gets underway. Corpses are left in the dust with a tip of the sombrero to siesta time. Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer never had something like this to deal with.

There may be guns and gunzels, as well as too much noir drama at the end, but Borderline quickly becomes an easy-going romantic chase comedy with drugs, death and Raymond Burr thrown in. Most importantly, the movie has two attractive leads. Listening to Trevor and MacMurray, still unaware of who they really are, trade stories about how they got started in the crime business does credit to their ability to keep straight faces.

Borderline is a pleasant movie, even if at times it's not sure just what kind of noir it is. It may not be an A production but it's considerably better than a programmer. As much as MacMurray and Trevor work well together, Claire Trevor steals the show.

The DVD looks okay. There is one extra that gives background on the people who wrote, directed and photographed the movie."