4 September 2009 | jimddddd
Fun in color, better than expected.
On September 3, 2009, I saw this film at the Cinecon Festival in Hollywood, at the Egyptian Theater. It was the first time it had been shown in color since the early 1950s; somehow it ended up in black and white for TV. Seen in its original luscious Technicolor, it was much better than what I expected from a Sam Katzman B-movie. Sure, the acting is grade B (most of the actors later ended up on television), but the action is fun and the plot is easy to follow. The star is French actress Denise Darcell, who was also (at age 85) on hand at the Egyptian to talk about it after the screening. Apparently she was being hyped by Columbia as "the French Marilyn Monroe," but on screen she has very little charisma and even less va-va-voom. Joseph Mell and Ted Thorpe steal the show as a couple of bungling beggars and spies, always willing to change sides at the drop of a silver coin and seemingly always just one step ahead of being hanged. Still, I can't imagine how anyone sat through this film when it was in mere black and white.