To boost listener ratings, radio personality Mike Jason (Dennis O'Keefe) encourages sponsors, of his murder mystery radio show, to offer a reward to anyone who can locate safe cracker Jimmy...
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To boost listener ratings, radio personality Mike Jason (Dennis O'Keefe) encourages sponsors, of his murder mystery radio show, to offer a reward to anyone who can locate safe cracker Jimmy Valentine, who is reportedly retired. Jason and co worker Cleo Arden, not Eve, ( played by Gloria Dickson) lead the hunt . which takes them to a small and previously quiet town. There is little tough guy Mousey (George Stone, who else ?), who becomes over zealous over the possibility of winning the reward. There is Bonnie (Ruth Terry), Mike's teen girlfriend , who adds further mayhem. The original film was cut to 54 minutes due to its' B movie billing and later television. At times. scenes may seem unconnected, for that reason. Written by
In his landmark tome "B Movies", the normally reserved film historian Don Miller heaps two pages of praise on this small-town comedy-mystery, calling it the apogee of Republic Pictures' output. Unfortunately, it was not a success at the box office, and was cut to a mere 54 minutes for second feature and television distribution under the title "Unforgotten Crime". This is the version in circulation today (if anyone stumbles upon the full version, please inform!) -- obviously, much of the story set-up is missing, causing some of the plot and character motivations to be fuzzy. Nonetheless, it's still a boisterous and clever little programmer, with an infectiously enthusiastic cast of b-movie stalwarts. Much of the pleasure comes from the odd romantic triangle of womanizing (self-) promoter Dennis O'Keefe, the lively but naive teenager (Ruth Terry) who immediately goes gaga over him, and his sophisticated co-worker (Gloria Dickson), who radiates plenty of Eve Ardenish attitude and sarcasm. This was one of noir master John Alton's earliest gigs as cinematographer, and although it's not the most suitable material, he manages to give a striking pulp-magazine-cover aura to the crime scenes. In fact, one scene of mayhem involving a sexy manicurist is quite jarring amid the lighthearted Mayberry-like atmosphere. Director Vorhaus and Alton later teamed up for the more appropriately cynical "Bury Me Dead" and "The Spiritualist".
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