Another little ‘B’, this time from Lippert Pictures, that should be added to a box set.
Exciting opening as a car being chased by the police goes over a cliff. A fugitive and an assistant D.A. are killed. The only survivor is the attorney’s wife,Marian, played by Luana Walters.
Russell Wade is a reporter who knew Marian and her late spouse, and he decides to investigate what happened.
There are several flashbacks in the lead up to the car crash. The late lawyer was in cahoots with gangster Nestor Paiva ( with no accent, very unusual for this actor).
It’s a good little thriller with a leading lady I liked but have never seen before,Luana Walters.
Russell Wade made only two more films after this,one of which was Sundown Raiders (1948) in which his character’s name was Russ Wade.
At 31, he changed careers and went into real estate.
UNDER AGE 1941
Columbia produced this B ( running just 60 minutes). It is quite raw in its story of under age girls being used as ‘hostesses’ in road side motels.
Nan Grey and Mary Anderson play sisters,Jan and Edie who are being released from the County Detention Home for Minor Girls.
A sleazy looking ‘Tap’ ( Alan Baxter) is waiting outside as several girls are released from the home. He offers them jobs as ‘hostesses and entertainers’ at a chain of motels along the highway called ‘The House by the side of the Road’ – a company run by ruthless business woman,Mrs Burke (Leona Maricle).
Jan and Edie reluctantly accept the job offer,along with some of the other girls. One of their duties is to go out on the highway pretending to be hitch hikers,and get men to drive to the motels.
One of the other girls ,also on the highway, is approached by a beat- up truck and says to the driver, “I only ride in 1941 sedans !”
Tom Neal is Rocky Stone (he’s a jeweller!) and Don Beddoe is his partner Albert. They are on the road and stop for Jan who brings them to the motel she is working at.
While the older Jan hates what they are doing, Edie is enjoying herself, encouraging the men to drink and gamble.
One of the girls is killed by Tap and there is a riveting scene where the girls,led by Jan,get Tap in a room. One of the girls says, “This is a murder trial.We’re all on the jury,and we’re all witnesses, and she (Jan) is the prosecutor.”
Jan says to him, “You cant get out until we’re through with you.and we don’t care what happens to your face.” (Earlier, Tap has beat up Jan for talking to Rocky and revealing what they get up to. Jan had told the girls, “They were careful not to hit my face.”)
This was Nan Grey’s last film – she had a happy marriage to Frankie Laine.
The film was directed by Edward Dmytryk.