Lucky Jordan, cynical gambler and racketeer, finds one thing his luck and connections can't fix: the draft board. In the army, he fits like the proverbial square peg, and deserts...to find ...
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Lucky Jordan, cynical gambler and racketeer, finds one thing his luck and connections can't fix: the draft board. In the army, he fits like the proverbial square peg, and deserts...to find his former henchman selling the mob's services to enemy spies and saboteurs. Meanwhile, Jill, the attractive WAC he's taken hostage, hopes to reform him (by any means at her disposal). But it takes an unexpected plot twist to make Jordan change his ways... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its New York City television premiere took place Friday 27 February 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2). In Milwaukee it was first telecast 6 April 1959 on WITI (Channel 6), in Phoenix 1 June 1959 on KVAR (Channel 12), in Seattle 5 August 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7), in Chicago 11 October 1959 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Johnstown a April 1960 on WJAC (Channel 6), in San Francisco 18 September 1960 on KPIX (Channel 5), in Los Angeles 15 October 1960 on KNXT (Channel 2), in Philadelphia 5 March 1961 on WCAU (Channel 10), and in St. Louis 28 May 1961 on KMOX (Channel 4). It was released on DVD 3 March 2016 as part of the Universal Vault Series and also enjoys an occasional cable TV airing on Turner Classic Movies. See more »
'Til I ran up against you, Nazi was just a word in the newspaper to me. Now it's another way to spell cockroach.
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After Alan Ladd's success in This Gun For Hire and The Glass Key, roles more traditionally associated with him, Paramount decided to give him top billing in Lucky Jordan, a film remarkably similar to Humphrey Bogart's All Through The Night in which gangster Bogart foils a Nazi spy ring. Although Ladd does well in the part, this was something given Ladd's diminutive stature that James Cagney would have breezed through.
In the title role Ladd is a gangster who's most reluctant to go into military service and leave the lifestyle he's become accustomed to. His number one subordinate Sheldon Leonard is most anxious to see him leave so he can move in on everything including Marie McDonald. Ladd and lawyer Lloyd Corrigan try all kinds of gambits, the last being to hire an Apple Annie type to fake being Ladd's mother so he can claim he's her sole support. Mabel Paige who played the gin swilling old souse is the best one in the film.
Ladd finally goes in the army, but he crashes out like you would in a prison film and accidentally gets some secret plans for a new airplane in the car he hijacked. Furthermore Sheldon Leonard is doing business with people who'd like those plans as the old rackets are drying up do to the war. All this doesn't faze Ladd, not even the pleadings of Helen Walker who is an Army WAC, but when the spies beat up on Paige our boy is not about to see the institution of motherhood defiled.
Lucky Jordan is played tongue in cheek just like All Through The Night. It made a profit for Paramount and confirmed Ladd's box office appeal. But it's firmly rooted in the time and place that the story is set in and hasn't really aged all that well. During his years at Paramount in the Forties Alan Ladd made far better films than Lucky Jordan that have come down as classics. This one is quite a bit less than a classic.
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