Not so different than director Josef von Sternberg's earlier exotic noir The Shanghai Gesture, Macao is actually the more entertaining film, even if the plot is flimsy and lacks much inspiration. Robert Mitchum does his usual Robert Mitchum routine here, while Jane Russell is most definitely Jane Russell. As a singer, she's got a couple of great songs in Macao, which are among the best scenes in the film. Sternberg and later Nicholas Ray, who completed the film, include some excellent shots of the island, making it seem thrilling and otherworldly. There's also a great chase scene through a harbor, where Mitchum and his pursuers jump from boat to boat. Gloria Grahame is good as always, but her part is way too small. The dialogue is pretty snappy, but the story seems like it was written in a week. Clocking in at one hour and 21 minutes, Macao seems not quite finished.
by Adam Bregman review