20 November 2013 | ksf-2
pretty good Noir from Haas
Written, produced, directed, and starring... one person.... is sometimes a sign of a so-so work. In this case, it's a Hugo Haas project, with Cleo Moore as Mary, the blonde bombshell. I thought she looked a lot like Jayne Mansfield or Marilyn Monroe, and reading Cleo's history, she had indeed lost a part in "All About Eve" to Marilyn M. and also like Marilyn, Moore died quite young, at 50, from a heart attack.
In our story, we learn that she has been raised by Mr. Stark, and has been working for him, but doesn't like the way he treats her. She also witnesses a shady deal with some character, and is sure that Stark cheated her father in business. She takes the money box, and is immediately caught by the police. Mary is off to prison, and must figure out how to start over. She gets released, but is constantly worried that someone will try to take "her" money... the money that she snitched. Mary finds work in another pub, and seems to fit right in. There are some funny bits here where we see the shop-owner's girl try to palm his poker winnings, but the shop-owner (Haas) is on to her, and keeps taking it back. Well, we're about halfway through the film now, and it's all been story set-up so far. Mary tries to lend Damitrof, the owner, her money, but things go all wrong, and it FINALLY starts being a film noir. Lots of close-ups on our blonde starlet, and things are happening now! I tried to guess the rest of the story, and I was partially right, but there were some surprises along the way. Pretty good story. Certainly entertaining. Part of a "Bad Girls Columbia Films Noir Collection" from Sony.
Also keep an eye out for the prison gardener played by Burt Mustin-- he was in TONS of early films, and I remember him as Frank Purdue, in the commercials for Purdue chicken!