Desert Fury

Synopsis: Fritzi Haller is a powerful casino owner in Chuckawalla, Nevada. Her daughter Paula (having quit school) returns at the same time as racketeer Eddie Bendix, who left under suspicion of murdering his wife. Paula and Eddie become involved; each for their own reasons, Fritzi, Paula's old beau Tom, and Eddie's pal Johnny try to break up the relationship. Then Eddie's past catches up with him in an unexpected way.
Director(s): Lewis Allen
Production: Paramount Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
96 min

A couple of more minutes and we'll be

blowing the suds off some nice Colas.

The desert.

I'd personally give

it back to the Indians.

When you get to the bridge, stop.

Halverston said he'd meet

us in town. Might miss him.

When you get to the bridge, stop.

We shouldn't have come back here.

Mind your own business.

They didn't fix it.

Why don't you take a picture of it?

Shut up.

I've a got picture of it... in my head.

Please, I'm in a hurry.

Back up and let her through.

Did you notice, Johnny?

Yeah... I noticed.

Paula, you're supposed to be...

Where's Fritzi?

At home. Didn't come

down this afternoon.

Does she know that...?

No, and don't you call and tell her.


Window shopping?

Yes, but we don't like what we see.

It's too cheap.

I ought to give you a ticket for that.

It would be worth it.

The way they jumped! Like two hens.

You might have killed them.

It was self-defense.

They were throwing knives at me.

There's still one sticking in your back.

Here, I'll pull it out for you.

Glad to see me?

Not particularly.

I'm glad to see you, too.

Let's have a drink.

What's new in Chuckawalla?

Crime or gossip?

Any difference?

Depends on where you're sitting.

Always has.

Why did you come back?

The big city scares me.

I'm a small-town girl.

How long you going to

be this time, Paula?

A long time I think.

What does your mother think?

Give me a cigarette.

I'm a big girl now.

I'm allowed to play with matches.

Hello, Mr Bendix.

Hanson... Tom Hanson.

You remember good.

Some things I remember good.

I don't suppose I'll forget you.

Staying around here?

Halverston ranch.


Coppers. All the same. Big mouths.

Always asking questions.

I was talking to him.

I'm answering.

Go and find out about Halverston.

Coppers. All the same.

You were saying?

I'm asking if you are here on business.

No, nothing like that. I just

came out to be in a desert.


What's your name?

My name is Paula.

Paula Haller.

I'll make it formal.

Paula, meet Mr Bendix.

We've met... on the

bridge coming in to town.

Glad do know you.

Halverston couldn't wait.

He left the keys.

Alright, let's go.


Paula Haller.

Who is he?

A very important man. A gambler.

How come you know him?

I met him on the same

bridge a couple of years ago.

He's very handsome.

Depends on where you're sitting.

It always has.

I guess I'd better go see Fritzi.

So long, Tom

So long.

I'll knock your teeth in.

Take it easy, Pat.

Hello, Tom.

A desperate criminal?

One of the railroad whippets. Blew his

dough. Threw a rock in a window.

That's even more serious.

Destruction of public property.

Everything is public in

Chuckawalla, bud.

Everybody owns everything.

Lay off, Tom. This one's stubborn.

He won't tell me his name.

Shush... don't you tell him.

We're in this together. Don't

talk until they get us a lawyer.

I don't know why I put up with you, Tom.

I don't know either.

Only way to handle these tramps is to

kick them about so they know who's boss.

Sure, Pat. I'll put him in the cooler.


You try break a pony tomorrow?

Going to try.

You're crazy.

That's me... oh yes, I knew

I came in to tell you something.

Eddie Bendix is in town.


He's staying at the Halverston ranch.


He didn't say.

Just thought I'd tell you.

Don't you worry about it, Pat.

You've got nothing he wants.

Or have you?

Hello, Miss Haller.

Hello Rosa, how are you?

Your mother wants to see you.

Tell her I'll be right down.

She knows you're here.

Mike called her from the Purple Sage.


Paula, come in here.

She told me to send you

the minute you came in.


Paula, darling. You were going

upstairs without even saying hello.

Hello, Fritzi. Hello, Judge.

I had a long trip. I was tired.

I thought I'd freshen up.

You look good to me, baby.

Even when you're tired.

Doesn't she, Judge? Don't she look good?

She looks beautiful.

Sit down, baby.

Give me a kiss, honey.

With your permission,

ladies. I'll leave.

No Judge, I want you to stay.

What for? To pass sentence?

Quick, isn't she, Judge?

Quick tempered, quick decisions.

A family trait.

Now Judge, you know me better than that.

I never make quick decisions.

I think about things a long time.

I just act quick.

Alright mother, let's have it.

It was "Fritzi" a minute ago.

An easy, friendly "Fritzi".

Now it's "mother".

If she can't get anything

out of me, it's "mother".

It comes out hard as a rock.

It seems to me there's nothing to

be gained in situations like these.

By anybody losing their temper.

Now, my advice...

Will be exactly what

Fritzi told you to say.

Well, there's truth in that.

You've got a weak character, Judge.

Yes Fritzi, you found that

out a long time ago.

Alright. This time, why?

Same reason.

This is the fifth school.

It wouldn't be different

if it were the fiftieth.

Then it will be fifty.

No, it won't.

Why are you any different

than anybody else?

You mean his daughter?

She was born to go to finishing school.

The little snob.

I just met her on the

street a while ago.

She was with your wife.

They both cut me dead.

I'll talk to her.

What will you tell her, Judge?

That there is really no

difference between us?

That you are one of Fritzi's partners?

That you make money the same way Fritzi

does except you get paid in back alleys?

So that you can stay respectable.

Oh, don't talk like that.

The Judge.


Even the title is phony.

He's trying to be nice.

He said he'd talk to her.

He's been talking to her ever

since I was eight years old.

You're not eight years old anymore.


I used to cry when I was eight.

But you don't cry anymore?

No. I'm like you now, Fritzi.

I'm getting more like you every day.

Like mother, like daughter.

Two very charming...

Oh, shut up!

Can I go upstairs now, mother?

Now look, baby. I don't

want to fight with you.

You know I don't want to fight with you.

Is it?

Yes it is.

Pour me a drink.

Fritzi, it may be...

Pour me a drink.

[ Telephone ]


It's the Sheriff.

Oh, you talk to him.

Hello Pat. Fritzi doesn't feel too well.

She asked me to talk to you.


Alright, Pat.

Pat told me to tell you that

Eddie Bendix is in town.

Eddie Bendix?


It seems like he's taken a lease

on the Halverston ranch.

Looks as though he'll be

around for a little while.

Eddie Bendix.

He's an old friend of

yours isn't he, Fritzi?

You say that as though you didn't know.

Did Pat say why he's come here?

He told me to ask you that.

I might have known.

Goodbye, Burl.

I'd like to explain to you about...

Goodbye, Burl.

You haven't taken your drink, Fritzi.

It will keep.


Yes, mother.

Come here, baby.

I'm glad you're home. Really I am.

Thanks, Fritzi. Thanks very much.

Tell me, baby.

Why did you leave this time?

The usual reasons.

Where do you come from?

Who are your folks? What do they do?

Do you always tell them?

You don't want me to lie, do you?

Why not?

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Robert Rossen

Robert Rossen (March 16, 1908 – February 18, 1966) was an American screenwriter, film director, and producer whose film career spanned almost three decades. His 1949 film All the King's Men won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, while Rossen was nominated for an Oscar as Best Director. He won the Golden Globe for Best Director and the film won the Golden Globe Award for Best Picture. In 1961 he directed The Hustler, which was nominated for nine Oscars and won two. After directing and writing for the stage in New York, Rossen moved to Hollywood in 1937. There he worked as a screenwriter for Warner Bros. until 1941, and then interrupted his career to serve until 1944 as the chairman of the Hollywood Writers Mobilization, a body to organize writers for the effort in World War II. In 1945 he joined a picket line against Warner Bros. After making one film for Hal Wallis's newly formed production company, Rossen made one for Columbia Pictures, another for Wallis and most of his later films for his own companies, usually in collaboration with Columbia. Rossen was a member of the American Communist Party from 1937 to about 1947, and believed the Party was "dedicated to social causes of the sort that we as poor Jews from New York were interested in."He ended all relations with the Party in 1949. Rossen was twice called before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), in 1951 and in 1953. He exercised his Fifth Amendment rights at his first appearance, refusing to state whether he had ever been a Communist. As a result, he found himself blacklisted by Hollywood studios as well as unable to renew his passport. At his second appearance he named 57 people as current or former Communists and his blacklisting ended. In order to repair finances he produced his next film, Mambo, in Italy in 1954. While The Hustler in 1961 was a great success, conflicts on the set of Lilith so disillusioned him that it was his last film. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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