Illegal Mexican migrant workers paying coyotes for the chance to cross the border and work for unethical American rancher Owen Parkson (Howard Da Silva) are ambushed and killed upon return to Mexico by soulless bandits. To stop the vicious cycle of exploitation and murder, Mexican federal agent Pablo Rodriguez (Ricardo Montalban) is assigned to infiltrate a group of “braceros” in cooperation with American federal agent Jack Bearnes (George Murphy). Risking their lives to uphold the laws of their respective countries, the success of the operation depends on Pablo and Jack’s ability to outsmart the predators without becoming the prey.
“[In] Mann’s ‘universe…the difference becomes a matter of ‘sophistication’ and scale: throat-slashing bandits, smugglers and counterfeiters on the Mexico side, the technologically streamlined, mass-manpowered machine of exploitation on the U.S. side. In fact, the film goes out of its way to be even-handed.” —Adrian Dank, Senses of Cinema “Seldom has night ever been displayed with such brutally haunting reality than in the skilled hands of the ‘duo of darkness’… Mann and [cinematographer John] Alton etched a tableau of brooding darkness that Edgar Allen Poe, who lived a century earlier, would have admired.” —Bill Hare, noiroftheweek.com
The Belcourt Theatre does not provide advisories about subject matter or potential triggering content, as sensitivities vary from person to person.
Beyond the synopses, trailers and review links on our website, other sources of information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and DoesTheDogDie.com as well as through general internet searches.