Wednesday, August 03, 2016


Eric Linden is a cub reporter at the New York Star who is desperate to make a name for himself. He thinks he has a line on some diamond smugglers and gets the police to break into an apartment, but the occupant is a young naked woman in a bathtub; the jewels she has are legitimately hers—and they were a gift from the Star's publisher. Frustrated and close to getting fired, Linden takes his girl (Dorothy Jordan), the police commissioner’s daughter, on a moonlight drive in his convertible to vent. When it starts pouring down rain, they take refuge at a small roadside inn run by an unfriendly clerk. In the middle of the night, Bruce Cabot and Phyllis Clare break in to steal jewels from another guest. They kill the guest and the clerk, but Linden and Jordan see them escape, and Clare even leaves behind her purse.

Up to now, this has been a decent B-movie crime story. But then it all goes to hell; instead of calling the police, telling their story and giving them the purse, Linden gets the bright idea of leaving fake evidence to make it look like he committed the murders. He figures he'll go on the run, get caught, write a series of articles about his ordeal, than have Clare bring the purse forward before he gets in too deep. Yeah, what the hell could go wrong with that? He does make headlines with a series of articles called "Diary of a Hunted Man," but once he gets caught and put on trial, we know the purse is going to go missing and his life will be in danger. I've always liked Linden in his 30s young pup roles (BIG CITY BLUES, FLYING DEVILS) but even he can’t quite make his character credible. Jordan is OK and there is a good supporting cast including Cabot, Roscoe Karns (pictured to the left of Linden) as Linden's boss, and Gustav von Seyffertitz as the innkeeper. [TCM]

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