Soldier of Fortune (1955)

Approved   |    |  Adventure, Crime, Drama

Soldier of Fortune (1955) Poster

When Jane Hoyt's journalist husband disappears in the 1950s China she arrives in Hong Kong determined to find him but meets shady shipping magnate Hank Lee.



  • Clark Gable and Susan Hayward in Soldier of Fortune (1955)
  • Clark Gable and Susan Hayward in Soldier of Fortune (1955)
  • Clark Gable and Susan Hayward in Soldier of Fortune (1955)
  • Russell Collins and Leo Gordon in Soldier of Fortune (1955)
  • Clark Gable and Susan Hayward in Soldier of Fortune (1955)
  • Clark Gable, Susan Hayward, and Michael Rennie in Soldier of Fortune (1955)

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24 August 2003 | gregcouture
Gable on location/Hayward at home!
This is one of those early Twentieth Century Fox CinemaScope potboilers where the studio sent (most of) the cast and crew to actual locations and took full DeLuxe Color advantage of places that most of the potential audience would never visit in real life. So, the bustling and already festooned-with-highrises city of Hong Kong is the principal setting for the jumping-off point of the plot. It's pretty obvious that Gable is actually there in Hong Kong for a few of the shots but Susan Hayward, embroiled in a custody battle after her divorce from Lex Barker, didn't dare leave the U.S., or her chances of caring for her children by that marriage might have been scotched. Therefore long shots and a few medium ones of her were cleverly arranged with a double and she performs all of her closeups, et cetera, safely ensconced on the Fox soundstages in West Los Angeles and against some rather good back projections.

Gable and Hayward are a pretty good team and Michael Rennie lends his usual elegant support. Gene Barry has a rather thankless role as Susan's eventually rejected husband, and the supporting cast, including the Asians appearing as various Chinese, are all convincing under Edward Dmytryk's workmanlike direction.

For me the real stars, however, are Leo Tover's excellent use of the CinemaScope lenses and, once again, Hugo Friedhofer's atmospheric score. In my opinion, no other Hollywood master of the full orchestral enhancement was able to cue the audience and call up some real emotion with so few bars of music. This film is a sterling example of his art. Just check out the closing few moments of the film. He could send you out of the theater convinced you'd seen something even better than what you had actually viewed!

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