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An exotic film noir set against the backdrop of Cold War Shanghai, World for Ransom stars Dan Duryea (Scarlet Street) a roguish detective Mike Callahan, who is drawn into a plot to kidnap a nuclear scientist (Arthur Shields). But the deeper Callahan delves into the mystery, the more labyrinthine the conspiracy becomes, as military intelligence (led by Reginald Denny), a criminal mastermind (Gene Lockhart), and a cross-dressing femme fatale (Marian Carr) all vie to control his fate. Directed (without credit) by Robert Aldrich, utilizing the resources of the TV series "China Smith," World for Ransom was initially dismissed as a low-rent von Sternberg film (parallels to Macao and Shanghai Express are obvious). Since then, however, the film has earned a new appreciation, being considered a trial run for Aldrich’s influential Kiss Me Deadly, both films peeling back endless layers of deception and betrayal, while an atomic secret lies hiding at the core.