Monday, July 09, 2012


Bob Martin gets a job as a cub reporter—his main credential is that he's the police commissioner's son, though when he tells his boss that he flunked journalism school, the editor says, "That’s one thing in your favor." Martin is assigned the task of getting an interview out of Black, a guy accused of a politically-motivated shooting who hasn't talked to anyone. It turns out that Black is a deaf-mute, but luckily Martin knows sign language so he gets his scoop. He also gets a coded message to deliver to Judson, Black's slimy lawyer. Next, Martin goes to interview Joyce Greeley, who is being released from prison, but Joyce is really Joan, whose kid sister Ellen, not realizing Joan's been in jail for two years, was going to pick her up the bus station.   Joyce/Joan is killed by two of Judson's thugs who are after a set of keys to a safe deposit box.  Ellen just happens to have the keys, which her sister had given her before she was sent to jail. We get some backstory about Joyce's past (a burlesque dancer who fell in with a bad crowd when her sugar daddy died) and the rest plays out unexcitingly—Martin helps Ellen evade the bad guys—until the climax, a chase set in a theater. If you like Monogram poverty row thrillers, this one isn't bad.  The lead, Robert Lowery (pictured; best known as the original Batman in the 1949 serial) is a bland but pleasant enough hero; the only other actor of note present is John Miljan (as Judson) who had a busy career—almost 200 movie credits—as a B-movie villain throughout the 30s and 40s.  There's even a completely extraneous song performed in the theater scene.  [Netflix streaming]

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