Private Hell 36 was one of the last feature-length efforts by Filmmakers, a company created by producer Collier Young and his then-wife Ida Lupino. Young and Lupino also wrote the script for this grim crime melodrama, wherein two detectives Cal Bruner (Steve Cochran) and Jack Farnham (Howard Duff Lupino's future husband) are assigned to track down $300,000 stolen in a bloody hold-up. The two cops manage to locate $80,000 of the booty, whereupon Bruner, not the most ethical of men, suggests that he and Farnham split the money 50-50 and keep their mouths shut. When Farnham decides to turn honest and hand the money over to his superiors, Bruner responds with the business end of his revolver. The very small cast is rounded out by Dean Jagger as the detectives' boss and Dorothy Malone as Duff's understandably worried wife.
by Hal Erickson synopsis