Friday, September 04, 2015

VICE RAID (1960)

An off-screen narrator tells us that the Syndicate is like an octopus with its "dirty tentacles" in gambling, drugs and prostitution. We see cops Whitey (Richard Coogan) and Ben (Joseph Sullivan) stop small-time crook Muggsy for "transporting," i.e., bringing an unmarried female across state lines to work, one assumes, as a hooker. While Whitey is otherwise occupied, Ben tells Muggsy to beat it, then shoots him dead, letting us know that Ben is on the syndicate payroll and had to kill Muggsy to stop him from ratting on the big boys. Sure enough, big boss Vince (Brad Dexter), who runs several modeling agencies which are fronts for escort services, decides it's time to get Whitey out of his hair. He brings in buxom Carol Hudson (Mamie Van Doren) and lets Whitey snag her, then has her testify that Whitey entrapped her. Whitey gets booted off the force but talks his boss into giving him a chance to clear his name. He sets up a fake call-girl business and starts getting Vince's agencies closed down. Meanwhile Carol, who has been set up in a nice apartment as Vince's mistress, is shocked when her kid sister Louise shows up to visit her in the big city with hopes of becoming a model just like Carol. When Louise falls prey in a particularly awful way to the bad guys, Carol joins Whitey in his attempt to bring Vince to justice. This is a fairly well-paced B film, though Mamie Van Doren is pretty much the only reason to watch this to the end. The story is predictable, the lead actor (Coogan) is almost completely without charm, and the characters are one-dimensional. Brad Dexter brings some heat to his villain role, the stern narration lends the proceedings a pleasant campy aura, and the sexy sax music score is out of control. Favorite line: when Vince says to Carol, "You like money, don’t you?" she replies, "If I'd wanted glory, I'd have joined the WACS." Pictured above are Van Doren and Coogan. [Netflix streaming]

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