The Magnificent Bribe Recap

On an unnamed Caribbean island nation, several revolutionaries bring guns onto the dock from a ship. The soldiers open fire on them and one of the men runs off. The others are shot down and the soldiers confirm that the revolutionaries were bringing rifles to the island.

The surviving local man, Andamo, runs to the nearby casino and removes his jacket and hat. He's wearing a white tuxedo underneath and goes into the custody to meet the owner, his friend and boss Mr. Lucky. Andamo claims that he was just out for a picnic and Lucky, although skeptical, doesn't press his friend. Instead he asks about an attractive woman, Elena Ryan, who is playing at the roulette table. Andamo admits that he doesn't know much about her, but that she's been there for the last three nights and hasn't been winning or losing.

Police sirens sound outside and Lucky tells Andamo to find out more about the woman while he meets with their honored guest, El Presidente. After Lucky goes upstairs to prepare for their game, the ruler comes in, apologizes to the guests for interrupting the festivities, and meets with Andamo. As Andamo takes El Presidente upstairs, the ruler notices Elena and comments on her. Andamo tells her what he told Lucky and El Presidente tells him to find out if Elena is available for dinner at 11 that night.

Lucky greets El Presidente and invites him to sit down for their monthly game of poker. As they play, el Presidente notes that his country is filled with graft and Lucky says that he's thankful that El President is a man of great integrity... and happy that he can lose $1,000 a month to him. They play a single hand and Lucky folds to four of a kind. El Presidente, well aware of what's going on, asks to see Lucky's hand but the casino owner declines. As they play, El President half-jokingly suggests that he might have to nationalize the casino since he is underpaid.

El Presidente receives word about the revolutionaries smuggling in arms and makes his apologizes to Lucky. As he goes, Andamo approaches him and says that Elena has already accepted his offer. El President hesitates to accept given the news he's received, but Andamo assures him that Elena was most eager to meet him for dinner. The ruler finally gives in and tells Andamo to have her meet him at the palace.

Andamo then goes upstairs and informs Lucky that they're in trouble: he used his friend's ship, the Fortuna, to smuggle arms into his country to oppose El Presidente. Worse, he's discovered that Elena is there to assassinate El President at 11 that night. Lucky concedes that they're in trouble and they start packing up all their earnings. However, when they try to leave, El Presidente's lieutenant tells them that the ruler wants them at the palace immediately. He won't take no for an answer and drives them to the palace. As they drive, the lieutenant finally opens the suitcase and points out that someone has stolen their clothing and left money in its place.

In the palace, El President brings Elena to his quarters while a guitar player serenades them. Once the ruler embraces her, Elena stabs him to death with a small knife hidden in her hairdo. She then fakes a conversation with El Presidente and tells the guitar player to leave.

The lieutenant brings Lucky and Andamo to El President's quarters just as Elena comes out. She tells the lieutenant that El Presidente wants to see the two men alone. Once inside, they realize what happens and Elena tells them that El President knew about the gun running and was going to amuse himself by having them try to bribe their way out of trouble. She comes up with a plan and Andamo gets the suitcase from the lieutenant while Lucky and Elena stage a conversation making the lieutenant think that the ruler is still alive. Lucky and Andamo then dump out all of the money on the corpse except for $3,000, aware that the lieutenant will expect them to leave most of their money there.

Once they're done, they go to the door and Lucky tells the lieutenant that El Presidente has ordered him to sail out of the country. The lieutenant is puzzled and goes into the ruler's quarters, while the trio makes a quick escape. They get to the car and intimidate the driver into going to the docks. Meanwhile, the lieutenant asks El Presidente why he told Lucky to sail out of the country when he ordered the Fortuna sunk earlier. The lieutenant walks over and realizes that his superior is dead.

As they drive, the driver gets a call and answers it. Realizing what it's about, Lucky takes the guard's gun and tells him to keep driving. They get to the docks only to discover that the Fortuna is gone. A fisherman asks what they want and the two men drive into the water while Elena drives off in the car. The police follow her into the night.

Once the coast is clear, Andamo and Lucky climb up onto the fisherman's boat. They offer to buy it from him and he haggles over the price. Andamo finally gives the fisherman the last $3,000 that they have but tosses it overboard. When the fisherman dives in to get it, Andamo and Lucky take off in the boat and, laughing, start betting on whether they make it to the next island or not.

Written by Gadfly on Feb 7, 2018

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