Friday, June 18, 2010


Palmer, a narcotics agent gets a phone call in the middle of the night from an informant, but when he leaves his house, he is gunned down, and the informant is stabbed to death in an elevator in the Frazee building. Following a lead from the informant’s girlfriend, agent William Henry heads to Tijuana to discover a smuggling operation in which drugs are stashed in the cars of innocent drivers; when the drivers get back to the States, the dealers extract the dope with no one the wiser. Meanwhile, at the Frazee building, an elevator operator who thinks she can identify the killers is the victim of a hit-and-run accident. When the agents suspect that someone with an office in the building is involved, a hidden camera is placed in the elevator and Palmer’s wife (Pamela Blake) volunteers to help by posing as an elevator operator. Sure enough, businessman George Eldredge, who runs a car rental company, is the head of the drug ring. Cat-and-mouse games follow between the agents and the dope dealers.

This Poverty-Row indie is nothing special, but it moves along nicely, and if approached more as a 50’s TV crime show, is moderately entertaining. The agents, including Henry, Robert Shayne, and Lyle Talbot, are a colorless lot, but the bad guys, including Joe Turkel and Bill Edwards, keep things interesting. William Leicester (above) has a memorable moment as a cocky drug dealer who smarts off to Eldredge and pays for it. Also in the cast is Movita, who plays the dead informant’s girlfriend, a singer at a (rather desultory) Tijuana cafĂ©—she was married for a short time in the 1960’s to Marlon Brando. [TCM]

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