Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The manager of the Hollywood Escort Service is a fellow named Breezy, but the real owners, in secret, are sleazy businessman Wheeler Oakman and his lady friend Betty Compson who makes enough money to send her daughter (Margaret Marquis) away to good schools. Compson is shocked to find out that Marquis is coming for a visit, and she’s even more shocked to discover that her daughter's boyfriend (Robert Kellard, pictured) is working undercover for the DA on an escort service crackdown. Compson keeps her career a secret, but soon Kellard is getting to close to the truth--he applies to work as a male escort and, under a different name, arranges for an escort girl to visit him in his hotel room. Oakman, onto Kellard's scheme, gets Kellard to believe that his girlfriend is one of his escort girls, leading to a lover’s spat, fisticuffs between the two men, and eventually two deaths, one by shooting and one by a plunge out of a window. This poverty-row exploitation film could have been a prostitution-ring REEFER MADNESS, but it's handled too seriously to be campy fun. For a low-budget film, it’s surprisingly well shot and acted; Compson was a Oscar-nominated star of silent films, Oakman had a solid career as a B-movie bad guy, and the beefy, handsome Kellard was the hero of the DRUMS OF FU MANCHU serial. However, the writing is slack and the characters underdeveloped. Especially bizarre is a scene in which Marquis gets drunk and says she’s a bad girl, even though she isn't; maybe a "biology is destiny" theme was intended here but it's very murky. In the middle of the movie is an explicit strip-tease scene that might well get an R rating today. The print shown on Turner Classic's Underground was in terrible shape, with missing dialogue and jump cuts galore. [TCM]

1 comment:

dfordoom said...

We never get weird and wonderful stuff like this on TCM in Australia. I adore the exploitation movies of the 30s and 40s.