ClaIre Foster (Brenda Marshall) discovers that her respectable-businessman husband George Foster (Arthur Kennedy) isn't respectable and isn't a businessman, but a gunman in this remake-version of "Heat Lightning".
William C. McGann
A conscientious attorney who is a member of the State Parole Board, finds his own son, using an alias, up for parole and makes the decision to cast the approving vote. This turns out to ... See full summary »
Jim 'Socker' Conway, former boxer and FBI hero, is maneuvered for political reasons into a do-nothing job in the district attorney's office. Meanwhile, he meets wild debutante Letty Lane, ... See full summary »
Manhattan gangster John "Czar" Martin enters the trucking business in an effort to control the produce market. When he catches popular trucker Danny Jordan robbing the gang's office to ... See full summary »
Molly Louvain's plans for a respectable marriage with her sweetheart Jimmy fall through so she takes to the road with a two-bit crook and becomes wanted by the police in connection with a high-profile crime.
Character actress/star Joan Blondell makes the most of Blondie Johnson, appearing first as a down-and-outer fired from her previous job because she wouldn't put out for the boss and then developing as an assertive, sassy, gang leader. She's is determined to get ahead in a man's world, and uses her snappy sense of humor, and both her sensitivity and her sensuality to move to the top and earn the respect of her fellow mobsters--simultaneously shooting for romance with (boring) Chester Morris.
After the film is over, it really doesn't seem like we've watched a gangster movie, simply because Warner Brothers knew how to be topical by suggestion, and in the period when this film was made, a good deal could be broadly hinted at that was frowned upon in later years: making money the easy way through prostitution, evoking fear in others through protection rackets, and particularly in this film, making a woman boss of the mob. It all looks like great, harmless fun. But after about 1934 and the Production Code, for most actresses it was back to domesticity and the kitchen for almost thirty years!
It's a zippy 67 minutes with a familiar Warner's cast, including silent star Mae Busch, the ubiquitous comedy relief Allen Jenkins, and as the "other woman," cynical Claire Dodd. Today there's more than enough menace in a gangster film, another brutal murder just around the corner, another bloodbath waiting; if there's any fun to be had, it's happening elsewhere. But once upon a time one could easily sit through an escapist double feature with this, essentially a gangster romp, as a starter, and perhaps an Edward G. Robinson or Cagney film as the longer main feature. Now you can enjoy this whenever you want a little break!
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this