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William C. McGann
This film may very well have been Brian Donlevy's worst film. Had it been done at Warner Brothers, Jack Warner would have punished Humphrey Bogart by casting him in Donlevy's unbelievable role.
The problem is that this film can't make its mind up. Donlevy is a stone killer like he was in the film that launched him, Barbary Coast and then he acts like the lovable mug he was in The Great McGinty. If RKO was going to play it for laughs they should have stuck to it being a satire.
Brian Donlevy, notorious gangster from New York, gets a facelift and goes to Hollywood after murdering the physician and nurse who did the job and ratting out a colleague who the police do in. Unfortunately there's another nurse on the premises he doesn't know about who witnesses the double homicide.
So with his new found freedom, what does our fugitive on the run do? Why he decides to live out a dream and he goes to Hollywood saying he's a rich playboy who wants to get in the movies. v
Donlevy's naturalness with gangster roles intrigues studio boss Alan Hale and publicity man Wallace Ford. For the rest of this film you have to see it to believe it.
This has some of the same plot situations as James Cagney's far better film at Warner Brothers, Lady Killer. But Lady Killer was light years better than this.
Brian Donlevy must have shuddered when somebody mentioned this one to him later on.
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