The son of a jailed Wall Street broker turns to crime to pay for his father’s release.
Tyrone Power plays the college-grad son of jailed-embezzler Edward Arnold. Power tries to find work, only to be turned away because of his father’s reputation. When he decides to use a phony name, he is still fired, because his ex-convict boss feels that Power is being unfair to his imprisoned father. If you can’t win for losing in a 1940 film, you turn to crime. Power hires on as the right-hand man of personable but deadly gangster Lloyd Nolan. Arnold, who has become a model convict, is disgusted that his son has turned to crime. He even refuses to have anything to do with his son when Power lands in the slammer himself. Through the intervention of Nolan’s moll Dorothy Lamour, a nightclub singer who has grown to love Power, Arnold realizes that his son is still a good guy underneath. Power proves as much by preventing a climactic jailbreak engineered by the homicidal Nolan. Continue reading
Based in part on a true story, Kiss of Death is given a veneer of reality by being filmed on location in New York, with a bare minimum of studio work. In one of his best performances, Victor Mature plays a cheap crook who is sent up the river for 20 years for robbery. District attorney Brian Donlevy, out of sympathy for Mature’s two young daughters, gives him a chance to go free—if Mature will blow the whistle on his accomplices. Stubbornly adhering to the “code” of thieves, Mature refuses to do so, until his wife kills herself and his kids are placed in an orphanage. Once paroled, Mature is prevailed upon to extract additional information from sadistic mob torpedo Richard Widmark (in his chilling screen debut). Continue reading
Gary Cooper and George Raft play a couple of seafaring buddies in this moral adventure
saga set during the 1840s, when the slave-trade had been outlawed by the British
Empire but was still a reality on the high seas. In its depiction of the friendship between
two men, one of questionable character, the film bears some similarities to Hathaway’s
Spawn of the North, made the following year. Continue reading
Clay Lomax, a bank robber, gets out of jail after an 8 year sentence. He is looking after Sam Foley,
the man who betrayed him. Knowing that, Foley hires three men to pay attention of Clay’s steps.
The things get complicated when Lomax, waiting to receive some money from his ex-lover, gets only the
notice of her death and an 8 year old girl, sometimes very annoying, presumed to be his daughter.
Polly and Ray Cutler finally get to go on their long delayed honeymoon – they’ve been married three years – and arrive in Niagara Falls to find that the Loomises – Rose and George – are still in what is supposed to be in their cabin. Rose Loomis is a sultry blond who catches the eye of every man around. Husband George is older and keeps to himself a great deal. The Cutlers take a different cabin but when they go off to visit the falls, Polly sees Rose passionately kissing another man. Rose and her lover are out to kill George and run off together, but things don’t quite as planned and Polly soon finds herself kidnapped and in a boat racing to the edge of the Falls.
Written by garykmcd Continue reading
Van Johnson plays a blind American writer who is renting an apartment on Baker Street while in London for the opening of his new play. After a row with his former fiancée (Vera Miles), he decamps to the local pub to drown his self-pity with a drink. There, his acute hearing picks up hushed snatches of conversation from the next booth. Convinced that a kidnap plot is in the offing, he rushes to the police, who are polite but refuse to believe him. However, Johnson knows what he heard is true and engages the help of Vera and Cecil Parker, his secretary, to find the kidnappers and save the unknown victim.
This terrific suspense film takes interesting chances with the genre. Johnson’s character is a study in frustration, a portrait of a man investigating something he knows exists but cannot see. The direction builds tension well and is supported by a fine musical background which heightens the mood.
23 Paces to Baker Street was one of several 20th Century-Fox films shot on location in London to take advantage of Fox’s “frozen funds” — money earned by the studio in England which by law could only be spent in that country. Continue reading
A discredited professor and a sophisticated thief decide to join together and pick a team to pull off one last job-
-the casino vault in Monte Carlo.