Hell’s Half Acre. 1954. USA. Directed by John H. Auer. With Wendell Corey, Evelyn Keyes, Elsa Lanchester. DCP. 91 min.
Republic stalwart John H. Auer (City That Never Sleeps) directed this gritty crime film on location in Hawaii, where Honolulu’s notorious Hell’s Half Acre quarter serves as a background to a complex tale of transgression and redemption. Wendell Corey is a reformed racketeer whose past catches up with him when his lover (Nancy Gates) shoots and kills one of his former partners in crime; Evelyn Keyes is a visitor from Los Angeles who comes to believe that Corey is the husband she thought she lost at Pearl Harbor 10 years prior.