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The Bottom of the Bottle
Directed by Henry Hathaway
Produced by Buddy Adler
Written by Sydney Boehm (Writer)
Georges Simenon (Novel)
Starring Joseph Cotten
Van Johnson
Music by Leigh Harline
Cinematography Lee Garmes
Editing by David Bretherton
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) February 1, 1956
Running time 88 mins.
Country  United States
Language English

The Bottom of the Bottle is a 1956 drama film based on the novel written by Georges Simenon during his stay in Nogales, Arizona. The novel was adapted for film by Sydney Boehm and directed by Henry Hathaway.


Patrick Martin (Joseph Cotten), known as P.M., is a wealthy attorney and rancher big-man-in-town in the border town of Nogales, Arizona. He returns home to find his brother Donald (Van Johnson) hiding in his garage. A former drunkard, Donald had been sent to the penitentiary five years previously for killing a man in a barroom brawl. It was in self-defense but P.M. hadn't defended his brother and he was convicted. Donald has escaped and wants his brother to help him across the Santa Cruz River into the Mexico-side Nogales, where his wife (Shawn Smith) and children (Kim Charney and Sandy Descher) are in dire straits. The straits get even more dire when P.M. tells him the river is flooded and it will be days before anyone can cross. And P.M. is all atwitter because his wife Nora (Ruth Roman), whom he married after Donald had gone to prison, doesn't know about his jail-bird brother. He introduces Donald to Nora and the rest of his Cadillac Cowboy and ranch society friends as an old friend, and is kept busy trying to make sure old Donald doesn't find anything harder that ginger ale to drink. Donald gets a telephone call telling him that his family has gone from dire straits to destitution and when P.M. won't get some money to them through his contacts in the Mexico side of Nogales, Donald knocks him down and grabs a couple of bottles of whiskey and dashes out of the house into the rain.

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