Saturday, January 21, 2012


This fairly standard B-crime movie starts cold with the robbery of a company's payroll of $200,000 by masked figures; later, it's revealed that the culprits are all sexy young women who bury the money for two years, then intend to split it five ways. The mastermind is nightclub owner Vera (Mara Corday); her younger sister Helen (Barbara Bostock), a singer at the club, is the getaway car driver who didn't realize until the next morning what she was involved in. There's also Agnes, the insider who knew how to time the robbery; Marie, a French hairdresser; and Joyce, a blond masseuse. Of course, as anyone who has seen TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE knows, things start to fall apart before the riches can be claimed. Agnes, certain that her bosses will find out about her part in the crime, gets a little hysterical, so Vera (in a meticulously planned scene) gasses her and makes it look like a suicide… and then there were four. A cop (Peter Mark Richman), knowing Vera and Agnes were friends, comes to the club asking questions and falls for Helen, though Vera does everything in her power to keep them apart. Meanwhile, more tensions arise between the four: Marie wants to claim her share now and Joyce is afraid that Helen will squawk to the cop, so mayhem ensues until it's just Vera and Helen… and the cop.

This isn’t exactly a good movie, but the plot and characters kept my interest. The acting is on a typical B-level, with Corday, a minor B-movie queen in the 50's, great fun. My favorite scene in the movie involves her flirtation with a new grocery delivery boy (Ronald Green, above with Corday). The boy is handsome but terribly wooden; when she asks him if he's as dependable as her previous delivery boy, he looks straight ahead and says, in a monotone, "I'm very dependable, you'll see." They grab each other around the waist and the scene fades out, though he crops up in a couple more scenes (with no lines) as her kept boy. Abby Dalton, who became a substantial TV star (Falcon Crest) is good as Agnes. The movie was directed in a drab TV-movie style by Paul Henreid (Victor Laszlo in CASABLANCA). This was fun to run across on TCM's Underground. [TCM]

No comments: