Genre: Action, Drama, Crime, Thriller, Romance, Film-Noir
Director: Jospeh M. Newman
Writers: Richard English, Francis Swann
- Edmond O’Brien as Mal Granger: A telephone repairman who quickly rises through the ranks of the underground gambling world, transforming from a friendly technician to a ruthless leader.
- Joanne Dru as Gail Mason: The wife of racketeer Don Porter who becomes an interest for Granger, further complicating his life.
- Otto Kruger as Carl Stephans: A character that plays a significant role in the backdrop of the gambling scene.
- Barry Kelley as Vince Walters: The wire service operator who controls gambling in South California, bringing Granger into the fold.
Granger’s life takes a drastic turn after a debt to his bookmaker, Sammy White. Recognizing Granger’s talent, White introduces him to the powerful Barry Kelly. Granger’s technical skills revolutionize the underground gambling scene in Southern California. However, with power comes enemies, and Granger soon finds himself a target of both the police and rival gangsters. Personal and professional lines blur, leading to a thrilling climax set against the majestic backdrop of the Hoover Dam.
“711 Ocean Drive” is a compelling crime thriller with distinct film-noir elements. Its narrative is gripping from start to finish, with Edmond O’Brien delivering a commendable performance. He captures the transformation of Granger from a mere technician to a powerful figure in the criminal underworld.
The film effectively delves into themes of ambition, power, betrayal, and love. The backdrop, especially scenes at the then-new Hoover Dam, enhances the cinematic experience. Los Angeles locales add a layer of authenticity, providing viewers a glimpse into a bygone era.
Directed adeptly by Joseph M. Newman, this movie deserves its place among the best Columbia Noirs. Additionally, for enthusiasts of O’Brien, adding “SHIELD FOR MURDER” and “D.O.A” to the watchlist is highly recommended.
While the film brilliantly weaves a tale of crime, drama, and suspense, its title might seem a tad disconnected from the central narrative. Nevertheless, it remains a must-watch classic from the 1950s.