» » Destination Murder (1950)

Short summary

Laura Mansfield's father is killed, apparently by a telegraphic messenger. She spots Jackie Wales in a police lineup, but can't identify him positively. Later, she arranges to meet him, and is convinced he was the killer, but he was acting for someone else. She gets to know Jackie to find out who the boss is, taking a job in the Vogue Club, owned by a man named Armitage. Meanwhile, Alice, Armitage's greedy mistress, goes after Jackie and lures him into blackmailing the nightclub owner. Armitage discovers the betrayal, and kills the two, but Laura schemes to get closer so she can prove him guilty.

The movie theatre featured in the film is the Marcal Theatre at 6021 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California, which featured late runs, revivals and various odds and ends in keeping with its location on the "wrong" end of Hollywood Boulevard. The revival combination of Flight Lieutenant (1942) and Corregidor (1943) was somebody's idea of a "commemoration" of the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the first week of December 1949, at which time "Destination: Murder" was filmed.

In this 1950 movie, a behind-the-times movie theater is showing Flight Lieutenant (1942) and Corregidor (1943). Posters seen outside the theater include Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and Germania anno zero (1948) ("Germany: Year Zero").

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Mataxe
    This is a good crime/suspense drama, of a piece with the other film noir dramas presented by Turner Classic Movies (and therefore well worth the time to watch). There is at least one neat twist in the plot which makes the film better than most of its kind. If you have seen a LOT of postwar crime films (as I have) you may find them predictable...and this adds to your appreciation of clever plot devices.

    Fans of radio's "Have Gun Will Travel" will enjoy seeing John Dehner in a small but crucial part.
  • comment
    • Author: Darkraven
    "Destination Murder" makes for an enjoyable 70-plus minutes, assuming you're a noir fan and are not bothered by the sort of unlikely plot developments so characteristic of this genre. Notable are the solid performances of Hurd Hatfield (whose name will always be linked with "Dorian Gray") as a sleazy but debonair nightclub manager, the beefy Albert Dekker (whom I will always think of as "Dr. Cyclops"), and Joyce Mackenzie -- a really classy beauty in the sort of wholesome Jane Wyatt mode -- as the plucky heroine who, Nancy Drew-like, disguises herself as a nightclub cigarette girl to help solve the mystery of her father's murder. Also notable is the odd relationship -- odder than we initially assume -- between the Hatfield and Dekker characters. There are several clever plot twists and some interesting little bits of directorial business (e.g., a scene in the ladies' powder room of the nightclub, which offers an unexpected little study in social pecking order when two women ask for a glass of water; and a player piano that's activated when violence is going to take place). What stays with me longest is the memory of Mackenzie's gorgeous eyes and cheekbones.
  • comment
    • Author: Saithinin
    This nifty little programmer from the post-World War II era gives viewers a chance to see several second-lead actors strut their stuff. The weasel-eyed Stanley Clements who made a living playing gunsels and Bowery types gets a chance to play, yes, a playboy hit man. It's a good thing he had money and a sporty-looking car to supplement his looks. Albert Dekker as Armitage does fine in a difficult role, having to play two facets of the same character. Alice Wentworth (Myrna Dell) turns out to be a femme fatale failure in the movie, but not in the acting department--seems the blonde bombshell is just not smart enough to pull off her double dealings. The lead part of Laura Mansfield is portrayed by Joyce Mackenzie, sort of a poor woman's Barbara Hale. Then there's Hurd Hatfield as the sneaky Stretch Norton, a pivotal part that fits his talents perfectly.

    The story involves a murder man's daughter tracking down the person responsible for her father's death, since she is led to believe that the police aren't really doing their job. She begins dating the trigger man, hoping he will lead her to the mastermind. The trail leads to a nightclub operated by mobsters. The nefarious Armitage has a nasty habit of torturing and killing his victims to the tune of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata." He is also adept at using his belt to silence those who disagree with his methods or who attempt to extort money from him. The plot has a major twist toward the middle of the film. It's surprising that other writers and directors haven't expropriated it (politically correct for stealing).

    As with most noir-like films of the period, music serves a vital link between story and character development. "Moonlight Sonata" has already been noted. Listen to the words of the songs sung by the popular jump and jive group Steve Gibson and the Redcaps (early doo wop). At times the musical selection can even be ironic. For example, just before Armitage gives Jackie Wales (Clements) the treatment, the Redcaps blast away with, "Let's Go To A Party."
  • comment
    • Author: Мох
    Is it possible that Hurd Hatfield's career took this much of a nosedive in 5 years? Evidently. "Destination Murder" is a B movie for sure that stars Hatfield, Joyce MacKenzie, Albert Dekker, and John Dehner. A young woman (MacKenzie) investigates the murder of her father by a uniformed messenger hired by someone else. She has no trouble picking out the messenger in a lineup, and he leads her to a club run by Armitage (Dekker) whose manager is Hatfield. That's the way it seems anyway. People start turning up dead. The villain hatches an ingenious plot to beat the rap.

    MacKenzie is very attractive with a beautiful figure, but she is not much of an actress. Albert Dekker plays a monster well. Hatfield, with those imposing looks, sports a New York accent beautifully. A New York accent is one of the hardest, most of the time sounding put on and phony. Hatfield's sounds natural. Perhaps it was - I only heard him speak in Dorian Gray (British) and I can't remember what he sounded like on Murder, She Wrote. At any rate, he's smooth in this role. But every time I looked at him, I thought of Dorian Gray. Perhaps his link to that character is why his film career crashed.

    "Destination Murder" is a nothing special B with some noir features, interesting for the cast.
  • comment
    • Author: MEGA FREEDY
    This film held my interest from beginning to the very end with one outstanding actor, Hurd Hatfield (Stretch Norton) who gave an outstanding performance and kept this film moving along in his night club owned by mobsters. Laura Mansfield, (Joyce Mackenzie) played the role as a young girl coming home from college and witnesses her father being killed by a delivery man at their front door. Laura decides to do her own detective work, because the police do not seem to be working fast enough in their investigation and Laura does determine who the killer is but has to find ways of getting more evidence. Albert Dekker, (Armitage) gives a great supporting role and Joyce Mackenzie lightens up the film which her charming female looks. Although, this film is a low budget film, it has many twists and turns and will entertain you.
  • comment
    • Author: Hawk Flying
    Low-budget but you really don't need a big budget for this type of contemporary 1950 murder-mystery. It does have sort of early Perry Mason black-and white television production values, but check out the cool 1950 cars.

    Hurd Hatfield's "presence" dominates this film and keeps it believable. The best way to describe this guy's acting is polished and smooth. In contrast, the lead actress is nowhere near Hatfield's acting league. However, she is attractive and OK for this B-movie role.

    The casting of the supporting roles is perfect and the director utilizes them to good effect. Watch for solid James Flavin (King Kong '33), and for very early silent star Franklyn Farnum in a brief part at the beginning.

    "Destination Murder" overcomes its cheapness. Hatfield was a bargain for the cheap salary they probably paid him. This film will hold your attention all the way through until the ending, mainly due to the good plot twists throughout.
  • comment
    • Author: Malaris
    DESTINATION MURDER is a moderately interesting noir film with a couple of credible performances--STANLEY CLEMENTS and HURD HATFIELD--and a nice turn by MYRNA DELL (the gal who gets bumped off in the first scene of THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE). She does an effective job here as a spurned and scheming woman despite some slick, yet naive dialogue.

    JOYCE MACKENZIE has a model's good looks and is very pretty as the feminine lead but not exactly convincing as a woman who sets out to solve her father's murder. The story takes a few twists and turns along the way, but none of it seems credible even while you become absorbed in how it will all turn out.

    ALBERT DEKKER is surprisingly weak in a key villainous role but HURD HATFIELD is strong enough here to make Dekker's role seem almost peripheral. He and Stanley Clements are the glue that keep the film within the realm of believability as moderate entertainment.

    But all in all, it's the kind of passable and shadowy "B" film that can best be described as not likely to linger in your mind.
  • comment
    • Author: Lanadrta
    If you find yourself up all some stormy Tuesday night with a bad cold, this movie may be just the thing to go with your hot toddy. It's a grade C or maybe D movie with a couple of good lines, plot twists and not-too-bad performances. A young(ish) lady home from college witnesses her father's murder by a delivery boy; when the police don't move fast enough for her, she turns sleuth herself. Most remarkable is Hurd Hatfield (the charmless star of The Picture of Dorian Gray five years earlier and virtually the only recognizable name in the cast), now come to this poverty-row sump of the movie industry. Destination Murder qualifies as film noir, but just barely; Noir can be cheap, but it's usually a little better than this.
  • comment
    • Author: lucky kitten
    Double and triple cross reign in this convoluted low grade noir where the five lead characters take turns deceiving each other. When Laura Mansfield's father is murdered at the front door by a deliveryman she sets out to trap the killer. She first becomes involved with one and eventually all three of the conspirators.

    Destination moves at a pretty fast pace in spite of its complicated plot as threats, plans and murders fill nearly every scene. Romance and cynicism constantly shifts between this unusual casts of suspects.

    Performance wise Hurd Hatfield has a menacing flatness about himself while Myrna Dell is a convincing hard boiled bleached blond fatale. It is Albert Dekker though that takes acting honors as a flunky who tortures to classical music. Unfortunately, Joyce McKenzie in the lead role as the amateur sleuth prevents Destination from getting a passing grade. Highly unemotive with her delivery we are left with a series of facial expressions to convey her feelings. She moves and acts like she's selling refrigerators.

    Quirky and quick, you could do worse than Destination Murder.
  • comment
    • Author: Keath
    Weasley Stanley Clements plays Jackie Wales, a messenger with a gambling addiction. When the film opens he is at the movies with

    a girl. During intermission he goes out to buy popcorn - but in reality he has been hired as a killer and his target is Mansfield, Laura's father. Laura is played by Joyce Mackenzie, a poor man's Barbara Hale - they look as though they could be sister's with Joyce being the more sophisticated of the two.

    Laura is convinced that Jackie is the killer and befriends him so she will be able to catch him out. Hurd Hatfield (looking a bit older than his Dorian Gray days) plays Stretch ("I don't like dames"), the shadowy manager of the club that Laura gets a job with. He is also the mastermind of the whole operation. Stretch and the club owner (Albert Decker) are planning to bump Jackie off to stop him

    from "shooting off his mouth".

    Laura falls in love with Stretch and confides her real identity to him.... little does she know.

    I found this a very good noir. Starring small timers or actors that had seen better days, it had quite a few twists. To me Hurd Hatfield proved Dorian Gray was a role he was born to play - he was a one dimensional actor with an expressionless face.

    The film was very good.
  • comment
    • Author: Raniconne
    **SPOILERS** Using the intermission between two movies at a local theater as cover Blue Streak Messenger Jackie Wales, Stanley Chements, goes out to big-time businessman Authur Mansfield's, Franklyn Farnum, home with his gangster boss Armitage(Albert Dekker) behind the wheel to murder him and get back,to the movie house, just in time for the second feature.

    Mansfield was a torn in the side to Armitage's nightclub rackets and by getting ride of him and then framing his murder on his business rival Frank Niles, John Dehner, was a stroke of genius on Armitage's part; knocking out two threats to his criminal operations with one stone.

    One thing that Armitage didn't count on was that Mansfield's young daughter Laura, Joyce Mackenzie, was at his home visiting from out of town and the greed and brazenness of the person who did his killing messenger Wales.

    After recognizing Jackie Wales in a police lineup Laura, who got a glimpse of the fleeing gunman, starts to work on Jackie by getting overly friendly with him. This lead her to the nightclub that his boss Armitage runs. Getting a job as the cigarette girl there from the real boss Stretch Norton,Hurd Hatfield, who feel in love with her. Laura was now in a position to get the goods on both gangsters, Armitage & Norton, and at the same time solve her dad's murder.

    After Jackie gets the hell beat out of him by Armitag, who likes to do his beatings to the sound of music, for asking for more money for the "hit" he did for him he later writes out an "insurange policy" by confessing in writing to Mansfield's murder. Jackies policy implicates his boss Armitage in case he, Jackie, ended up dead and then stupidly goes back to blackmailing him. Jackie gets this idea from Armitage's mob-doll Alice, Myrna Dell, who didn't realize that he was only a stooge to Norton, not visa versa, and together with Jackie, ends up getting murdered by him. While all this is going on the police are using Laura, without her knowledge, and Frank Niles, with his cooperation, to trap both Armitage & Norton in order to get "The goods" on them in Mansfield's murder.

    Laura who fell in love with Norton who unknowing to her had her father murdered didn't find this out until the end of the movie when Niles, with the police and Laura listening in and recording the conversation, got Norton to spill the beans on him and his operation. This was to make him, Niles, a partner after he earlier murdered his former partner Armitage, who was getting a bit drunk and a lot out off line, and made it look like self-defense.

    Decent film-noir with both Joyce Mackenzie and Hurd Hatfield doing as good as they could as two star-struck lovers who up until the end of the movie didn't really known that much about each other even though they were planing to get married.
  • comment
    • Author: Chilldweller
    The story is good because it is plotted well. It starts with a Ted-friendly fold: a guy is in a movie with his girl. He takes a break and kills someone and returns as if the murder was a movie. Well, it is.

    What follows is a collection of tough guys and dolls navigating through different interlocked schemes to cheap each other in some way. A few die.

    The good plotting comes from the intricate interlacing of the perfidy.

    The hero here is a mobster's "good" daughter who goes under cover to find the killer of her dad. The formula would have her won and lose both. She does

    Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
  • comment
    • Author: Anarahuginn
    Couldn't get with it. My aesthetic apparatus fused. Stanley Clements is hired by thugs Albert Dekker and his sub rosa boss, Hurd Hatfield, who is posing as Dekker's night club manager, Stretch. Stretch might or might not be an invert. He keeps saying, "I don't like dames," and he slaps people lightly across the cheeks. Clement's mission: Wearing his messenger uniform, he must take a quick break during a movie intermission and shoot Dekker's business rival, which he does. Then he scoots back to the theater and resumes his date.

    The police have their eye on him but can do nothing. But the victim's daughter, Joyce Mackenzie, has him under suspicion too and she is in a position to do something about it. She can and does put some moves on Clements, who must be listed among the most stupid murderers on record. He seems to have no idea that the past shapes the present and influences the future. His thought processes are rudimentary. She's a neat dame -- classy, y'know?, and, okay, so he murdered her old man in cold blood. So what? Let bygones be bygones. That's his philosophy.

    He decides that the hit is worth a bit more than he was paid so he noodges Dekker up for more money -- five grand. This is a big mistake. Dekker smoothly removes and folds his belt in front of the terrified, diminutive Clements, while Hurd Hatfield turns on the player piano and we hear the gloomy melody and dark chords of the Moonlight Sonata.

    Clements emerges later from the apartment, disheveled, blooded, dizzied. Then we get to know bar girl Myrna Dell, who tells Clements how to do blackmail right. (You write a complete confession and arrange to have it sent to the cops in case anything happens to you.) Myrna Dell is one tough cookie. She has no sense of humor at all. And she seems made of cast iron, with a figure resembling a Franklin stove. She doesn't always give good advice. Two thirds of the way through the movie, the pathetic Stanley Clements disappears, much to the viewer's relief.

    The climax is unforgettable. As another viewer pointed out, so many improbables are involved that it's a miracle out of scripture. I guess I'll take a stab at describing it.

    First, the treacherous Hurd Hatfield decides to have Dekker killed off. Here's how he arranges it. He invites Mackenzie, the vengeful daughter of the murdered man, to his apartment. Then, when Dekker arrives, as secretly arranged, he stashes Mackenzie in another room. He then drugs Dekker, sits his wobbly body upright in a chair, fires a pistol into the wall, clasps the pistol in Dekker's obligingly upright hand, cowers behind the desk, cries out for mercy -- and Mackenzie rushes in from the next room, having overheard Dekker's confession, picks up another pistol lying there, and shoots the oblivious Dekker, who is posed as if to plug Hatfield, perhaps in a state of cerea flexibilitas. Hatfield winds up plugged too, but I forget how. I think I was still abstracted by the knots in Dekker's murder or maybe it was a period of microsleep.

    Well! There are two things that can DEFINITELY be said about this production. Hurd Hatfield certainly had a long career. From 1944 to 1991. And there's another thing. James Flavin plays a cop and he says "sqawd care" (New England, for "squad car". Twice.) Is there anything else to be said about this movie? Let me think.

  • comment
    • Author: WinDImmortaL
    Oddball Film-Noir. A Low-Budget Gem from Low-Budget Director Cahn. It is Quite the Quirk This. A Movie that has Gritty Characters with Hard-Boiled, Cold Blooded Killers. One (Stanley Clements) Looks and Acts Like a Teenaged Ticket Taker at the Local Bijou.

    Albert Dekker and Hurd Hatfield are a Nasty Duo. Hadfield has a Bi-Sexual Bent and Dekker Again Plays One of His Sublime Criminals with the Personality of a Profiled Psycho Killer. The Females are Joyce MacKenzie and Myrna Dell, Both Engaging Enough in Their Perspective Personas, Although MaKenzie Seems a Bit Old for a College Student.

    The Tone of the Thing is The Thing Here. Director Cahn, As Always, Manage to Take a Miniscule Budget and Make it All Look Attractively Demented with Echoes of Pulp. It Should Also be Mentioned that the Negro Musical Group at the Nightclub Stands Out and at the Beginning of the Decade Foreshadow a Musical Revolution just a Few Years Away when Race Records Crossed Over.

    Overall, a B-Noir that is Made Interesting by its Very Cool Ambiance and Some Off Beat Actors. Worth a Watch for Fans of Film-Noir, B-Movies, and Those that Appreciate a Strange Atmosphere.
  • comment
    • Author: Pruster
    Nothing really stands out in this below mediocre film-noir: the acting is shaky, the music isn't interesting, the story doesn't convince (sucks basically), the cinematography doesn't appeal and the mob isn't even there. But it's not bad enough to turn it off halfway. The pace is OK, the whole is kind of entertaining, it's not too long (65 min.) for its content and its flatness seems to be its power. Or is the jargon for that 'directing makes up' ? Anyway, I think this is a b-flick that should have been made fifteen years before to be appreciated.

    I just happen to like film-noir enough to rate this 6/10
  • comment
    • Author: Alianyau
    Joyce MacKenzie (Laura Mansfield), Stanley Clements (Jackie Wales), Hurd Hatfield (Stretch Norton), Albert Dekker (Armitage), Myrna Dell (Alice Wentworth), James Flavin (Lieutenant Brewster), John Dehner (Niles), Richard Amory (Mulcahy), Norma Vance (patron in powder room), Suzette Harbin (powder room attendant), Buddy Swan (Arthur, a messenger boy), Ben Wenland (Dave, a messenger boy), Franklyn Farnum (Mansfield), Steve Gibson (himself, leader of Redcap Singing Group), Ralph Brooks, Jeffrey Sayre, Harold Miller, Suzanne Ridgeway (nightclub patrons), Steven Ritch (waiter), Fred Graham (fight double for Hurd Hatfield). Steve Gibson's Redcaps (themselves).

    Director: EDWARD L. CAHN. Screenplay: Don Martin. Photography: Jackson Rose. Film editor: Philip Cahn. Art director: Boris Leven. Set decorator: Jacque Mapes. Wardrobe supervisors: Maria P. Donovan (women) and Jerry Bos (men). Make-up: Henry Vilardo. Hair styles: Lillian Shore. Music: Irving Gertz. Song (Gibson) by Steve Gibson and James Springs. Sound recording engineer: Garry A. Harris. Producers: Maurie M. Suess, Edward L. Cahn. Prominent Pictures (i.e. Edward L. Cahn Productions).

    Copyright 15 June 1950 by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. U.S. release through RKO: 8 June 1950. No recorded New York opening. U.K. release: 13 May 1951. Australian release: 9 February 1951. 6,721 feet. 74 minutes.

    SYNOPSIS: After witnessing the murder of her father by a messenger boy, Laura Mansfield decides to track down the killer.

    COMMENT: Don Martin has certainly come up with more than a few novel twists in the plot of this minor film noirish "B". Mind you, it stretches belief and some of the dialogue is pretty silly (especially that given to James Flavin who makes a most unconvincing detective), but it certainly has its moments, thanks chiefly to Hurd Hatfield and Albert Dekker.

    One of the surprises is that the chief character is killed (off- camera, of course) when the movie still has twenty minutes to run. Fortunately, we didn't take to the player concerned anyway and his unexpected demise gives an opportunity for our favorite actor to take charge. This plot twist seems a little ridiculous but we're prepared to let it pass. After all, as said above, the film is worth seeing mostly for Hatfield and Dekker.

    As for the actual star (as per the billing), it must be admitted that, although saddled with an unlikely self-assignment, Miss MacKenzie does her best to instill a smidgin of realism into her performance. She receives solid support from femme fatale Myrna Dell and (in a small role) glib gangster John Dehner.

    The direction by Edward L. Cahn rates a notch or two above his usual super-humble standard. Production values score a generally adequate to low, but occasionally impress.
  • comment
    • Author: Orevise
    The plot of this little crime drama was excellent, minus a few plot holes. The execution was not so great mainly because of the blunted acting. There are mainly B players in this one, and the only one I immediately recognized was Hurd Hatfield of "Picture of Dorian Gray".

    A man answers the door one night only to be shot by a messenger boy, or at least somebody who is dressed up like one. His daughter, Laura Mansfield, (Joyce MacKenzie) gets a fleeting look at the assassin, but not good enough for a positive ID. Meanwhile, Frank Niles is arrested for the crime because he was a business competitor of the murdered man and his car was in the neighborhood at the time of the murder.

    This entire thing boils down to Laura trying to solve this crime from the bottom up, once she becomes convinced that the person she thought did the actual shooting is guilty (Stanley Clements as Jackie Wales). The police ignore her attempts to help and her tips because they are interested in the "Mr. Big" who ordered the hit. So why did the police have a lineup of messenger boys if they had no intention of arresting one? Plot hole number one. So Joyce gets hired as a cigarette girl at a club, "The Vogue", that she is sure is involved in her dad's murder.

    Meanwhile there is so much back stabbing and double dealing among the actual criminals you must pay attention or you will get lost, for this is a pretty fast paced film. And the weird thing is that none of them seem unnerved about a murder victim's daughter nosing around their nightclub.

    This thing has great atmosphere, a good pace, and a pretty good story, but the acting is flat and mediocre, making it hard to care about the characters that much. Plus, no reason is ever given as to WHY anybody would have killed Laura's dad in the first place - Plot hole number two. It is a passable time killer, though, if you are a student of noir.
  • comment
    • Author: Shaktit
    Rather than let the police solve the murder of her wealthy father, the daughter (Joyce McKenzie) enters into the shady underworld to find the responsible party behind her father's murder. This underworld centers around a swanky nightclub named "The Vogue", with Steve Gibson and the Red Caps as its in-house musicians. Upstairs resides the club's presumed owner, a hulky Mr. Armitage (Albert Dekker) and his presumed assistant Stretch Norton (Herd Hatfield). McKenzie works her way upstairs by getting in close with the actual shooter, a messenger boy named Jackie Wales (Frank Clement), who agreed to kill her father for five thousand dollars. Why the decision to kill the father was taken seems ridiculous, but things move along fairly well, as Mr. Armitage makes a fine role in the collection of B movies sadistic bad guys, as he takes care of business while a player piano churns out Chopin. Dekker's role resembles something Raymond Burr might have played in a better funded post-war crime drama. Nonetheless, the director Edward L. Cahn finds some excellent scenes to fill up the screen.
  • comment
    • Author: Mr.Champions
    The worst actress since Jane Russell. Oh, that's right, both were hired for their physical talent, not so much otherwise. With McKenzie, her amateurish self consciousness so obviously showing through her mechanical "acting" with every high school play-look she gave us, was too distracting to make even this D movie disguised as a B movie look anything but awful. A few decent actors(John Dehner was one) were in the cast, but McKenzie ruined it for all of them. She had to have done something intimate with a producer to get the role, she was that bad.

    Convoluted murder plot too dumb to stand much scrutiny, as this mid-century crime drama was hardly watchable in its "he did it, no he did it, no he did it" moronity. The characters and plot were too dumb to believe for a second.

    Fortunately for us, MacKenzie's "acting" career went nowhere, as it should have. Forget this film, a real waste of time.
  • comment
    • Author: Cordalas
    The film carries the RKO banner, but it's not an RKO production. That studio's great production unit knew how to make noirs. This independent production released by RKO apparently knows little. The film is almost a complete misfire from muddled script, to lackluster direction, to absent style, to the waste of Albert Dekker, Hurd Hatfield, and John Dehner. In fact, the ordinarily competent James Flavin almost sounds like he's doing his cop dialogue by the numbers. Please, if you can make sense of the story line, there's a place for you in the MIT physics department, (did writer Martin forget what he had written from one day to the next). And who in the heck held the gun to Dekker's head in such an embarrassing piece of Jekyll and Hyde that it's likely the low point of his career. Add to that the staging of a final scene so clumsily done, it parodies the real thing. Yes, there are some novel ideas trying to survive, (just what is the relationship between Armitage and Stretch). But unfortunately they're buried in a tangle of half-ideas, never to see the light of day. I have the utmost respect for RKO's great noir tradition. But releasing this misbegotten indie could have threatened the whole concept. The only good thing is the really smooth jazz combo who should have gotten the entire 70 minutes instead of just five.
  • Complete credited cast:
    Joyce Mackenzie Joyce Mackenzie - Laura Mansfield (as Joyce MacKenzie)
    Stanley Clements Stanley Clements - Jackie Wales
    Hurd Hatfield Hurd Hatfield - Stretch Norton
    Albert Dekker Albert Dekker - Armitage
    Myrna Dell Myrna Dell - Alice Wentworth
    James Flavin James Flavin - Police Lt. Brewster
    John Dehner John Dehner - Frank Niles
    Richard Emory Richard Emory - Police Sgt. Mulcahy
    Norma Vance Norma Vance - Fran - Inebriated Lady
    Suzette Harbin Suzette Harbin - Harriett - Nightclub Maid
    Buddy Swan Buddy Swan - Arthur - Blue Streak Messenger
    Bert Wenland Bert Wenland - Dave - Blue Streak Messenger
    Franklyn Farnum Franklyn Farnum - Arthur Mansfield - Laura's Father
    Steve Gibson Steve Gibson - Leader of Redcap Singing Group
    Steve Gibson's Redcaps Steve Gibson's Redcaps - Singing Group
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