Nice to see Veda Ann Borg get a starring role in this 1945 thriller from PRC.
Veda plays an out of work actress who is hitch-hiking from Boston to New York. A speeding car hits her and she hurts her ankle. The driver (Charles Arnt) takes her back to his big house where she meets his wife and young step daughter.

It turns out Arnt is a murderer and Veda sets out to prove his guilt,putting herself at risk.
(65 minutes long and enjoyable.)


C. Aubrey Smith

C. Aubrey Smith

A neat little thriller starring C.Aubrey Smith as the head of London’s National Galleries and Erich Von Stroheim as an obsessed art collector who wants to steal the Mona Lisa which is being held in London for safety.

Erich Von Stroheim

Erich Von Stroheim

Von Stroheim’s henchmen pretend to be French officials taking the famous painting back to the Louvre museum after Paris is liberated.
But it turns out Britain has been guarding a fake!

Great to see 82 year old C.Aubrey Smith matching wits with Von Stroheim!


If you want to know how this film ends,the title’s a giveaway!
Richard Denning is a airforce pilot of a plane which crashes into the sea after an onboard fight involving a Japanese prisoner (Richard Loo).Also on board are Catherine Craig,an army nurse and Ann Doran and John Eldredge, a newly married couple who have just been freed from a Japanese prison.There are two soldiers in charge of the prisoner and a sick man the nurse is looking after.

Russell Hayden is a search and rescue pilot, in love with the nurse and desperately trying to find the life raft with the survivors.
So that’s the set-up. They have rations for 5 days – there’s a hurricane,a shark attacks, they lose their oars and rations.
But 7 are saved!

It’s not LIFEBOAT,but an enjoyable 70 minutes.This is the first time I’ve seen Catherine Craig (wife of Robert Preston).She came over well.as did Richard Denning and Russell Hayden.



OPEN SECRET has the same theme as Cross Fire and GENTLEMAN’S Agreement – anti- Semitism.
John Ireland and Jane Randolph are a newly married couple who come to New York and accept the invitation of Ireland’s army buddy, Charles Waldron Jr. to stay with him.
When they arrive at his apartment, he is missing.
Both men were army photographers and Waldron has infiltrated a neighbourhood hate group – he has taken incriminating photographs.
Sheldon Leonard is a sympathetic police detective and George Tyne is a Jewish camera shop owner targeted by the bigots.
Roman Bohnen is good as an alcoholic member of the ring.He’s also a wife-beater and there is a powerful scene when his downtrodden wife reveals to Ireland what her life has been like,living with Bohnen.(An actress called Ellen Lowe was impressive in this scene.)

There’s a lot of very effective low key lighting from cinematographer George Robinson and Austrian director John Reinhardt (who only did a few films in Hollywood before his death in 1951 – Chicago Calling,The Guilty,High Tide, Vicious Circle.)

A well made ‘B’.My only reservations – Jane Randolph’s character was simply unnecessary and I find John Ireland a bit wooden. Would have preferred someone like Charles McGraw. (teaming McGraw with Sheldon Leonard would have been brilliant!)

It’s a junior version of Crossfire,but it has a lot going for it, and the message is very clear.

7 responses »

  1. Very interesting selection of obscure films Vienna.
    OPEN SECRET sounds most diverting.
    Never heard of director John Reinhardt before but it seems
    that he was some sort of poverty row Noir expert.
    Always liked John Ireland.

  2. Some interesting titles there. I’ve heard good things about OPEN SECRET before but I’ve never seen it.
    I see a couple of these are Alpha releases. If you have them, are they down to the usual poor standard or are they at least watchable?

  3. SEVEN WERE SAVED looks good — I love Ann Doran. It’s kind of like the title FIVE CAME BACK, which leaves you mentally counting cast members as you watch, trying to figure out which five!

    Best wishes,

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