World for Ransom
is a 1954
film directed by Robert Aldrich
, who was uncredited for his work. Many of the actors and sets used in the film were from the Dan Duryea television show "China Smith
". Aldrich and cinematographer Joseph Biroc also worked on the series.
Mike Callahan, played by Dan Duryea, is an Irish emigré and war veteran working in Singapore as a private detective. He takes on a case from a former flame, now a nightclub singer. She thinks her husband Julian March (Patric Knowles) is involved in criminal activities and asks him to help out. Callahan learns that a man named Alexis Pederas (Gene Lockhart) has involved Julian in a plot to kidnap a prominent nuclear scientist Sean O'Connor and hold him for ransom to the highest bidder. O'Connor is one of the only men in the world that knows how to detonate the H-Bomb
The film was shot in 10 days, on a budget of $90,000, with director Aldrich halting production to shoot TV commercials in order to raise money for the film's post-production.
The film is similar in story to another film noir with a nuclear theme by Aldrich, Kiss Me Deadly, the difference being that Callahan is in it to try to get an old girlfriend back while Mike Hammer in Kiss Me Deadly was in it for the money.