A society reporter keeps herself in the headlines by marrying a series of wealthy men, all of whom die under mysterious circumstances.A society reporter keeps herself in the headlines by marrying a series of wealthy men, all of whom die under mysterious circumstances.A society reporter keeps herself in the headlines by marrying a series of wealthy men, all of whom die under mysterious circumstances.
above average 40's b-crime programmer w/ wild femme fetale
Director Jack Bernhard was on a roll when he made this low-budget crime drama for the interesting "Film Classics" company (all of whose releases that I've seen have been fascinating on some level)--he had made VIOLENCE (about a crypto-fascist secret society preying on returning veterans) and DECOY (a noir classic with the ultimate femme fetale, as played by Jean Gillie) at Monogram in 46-47, and after BLONDE ICE he went on to direct two of the three John Calvert "Falcon" films which I found entertaining in a quirky way. BLONDE ICE teams Leslie Brooks (who played a similar "deadlier than the male" female two years earlier in SECRET OF THE WHISTLER), here playing a upwardly-mobile woman who uses marriage and murder as a way of improving her social status, with actor-singer-gameshow host Robert Paige, a reliable performer best known to me for the serial FLYING G-MEN and the horror classic SON OF Dracula. The film will not make anyone forget DETOUR or DECOY because to me it doesn't really aspire to the dark world of noir--it's not a corrupt world here, just an empty one for Claire Cummings. Les, her friend and the man she keeps coming back to whenever she conquers a new financially successful man (played by Robert Paige), is an interesting character because he is a devoted friend who knows that something is wrong but doesn't want to know about it. Claire states many a time that she loves him, but he seems to have gone beyond any romantic feelings for her before the film starts--his feelings for her are more like those of an ex-spouse who has moved on but who still wants to help his former partner who is having a run of bad luck. I disagree with those who don't care for Brooks' performance--she has a number of wonderfully feline poses and it's easy to see how men who ought to know better (such as the congressional candidate) fall for her. I also like the fact that no real explanation is ever provided for her actions other than social climbing, and she always seems unsatisfied with each new level she reaches. The supporting cast does a good job also--my favorite being Russ Vincent as the sleazy flyer/blackmailer, in a performance straight from the Jack LaRue school of acting. I'm glad to see this film available in a crisp-looking DVD. It has the flavor of a paperback-original crime novel with a lurid cover (the film's poster and title card have that flavor too)and it pulled me into its world for 70 minutes.
- Sep 8, 2004
Contribute to this page
Suggest an edit or add missing content