27 March 2018 | bkoganbing
Good noir film idea goes nowhere
Veteran screen heavy Barton MacLane took a hand in writing a screenplay and
he had the germ of a good idea. Unfortunately the only studio he could interest in Man Of Courage was sub poverty row PRC and he got a very typical
PRC film with it.
MacLane is on the side of the law in this one, he's a crusading, incorruptible, but
most ambitious District Attorney who might just make it to the governorship
of his state. In real life the year before Man Of Courage came out Thomas E.
Dewey and Earl Warren got to be Governors of their respective states so this
was not a farfetched notion. One guy he wants to nail is racketeer Lyle Talbot,
but he's proving illusive.
In fact Talbot on the advice of counsel decides to take a powder for a while with mistress nightclub singer Charlotte Wynters. But a derelict is found with
some ID of Talbot's and everybody thinks it's him. MacLane decides to try the
wife Dorothy Burgess for the murder.
For myself I think this was a pretty good plot premise. But it goes all wrong in
the execution. The production values are typical cheap PRC, the direction is
non-existent, some of the character's actions make no sense at all, especially
And MacLane whose beefy frame and raspy voice fit gangster films so well
doesn't look comfortable at all as a good guy. This in a film he wrote.