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Erich von Stroheim,
Mary Beth Hughes,
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Beautiful Mary returns to her small hometown after many years from Chicago wearing a mink coat and carrying an expensive cigarette case. Her arrival causes long standing enmities to surface between two of her old boyfriends, Kenny Veech, a loafing gambler, and debonair Lew Lentz, owner of a local nightclub. Their deep-seated animosity repeatedly results in antagonism and fights as they compete for Mary's affections. Kenny's friend Gitlo, a bartender in Lentz' club, enlists Kenny in an aborted plan to rob Lentz of $15,000 in profits from sponsoring a local carnival. Lentz retaliates by framing both men for murder. Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fun to see a movie of this period with stars in the early years of their careers.
I wanted to see this movie because I had read the novel "Whistle Stop" which was written by Maritta Wolff when she was a college student and was recently republished. The novel gave a great presentation of the Post Depression era and Wolff's beautifully descriptive writing won her a prestigious award. The scriptwriter changed the story significantly. While one part would probably have been too sensitive for the time, I think today's movie writers would portray more of Wolff's imagery of life on both "sides of the tracks". I doubt if an author today would allow his or her book to be an inspiration to a screenwriter who would use some characters and some dialogue yet change the story so dramatically. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the movie AFTER reading the book as it was fascinating to see the similarities and the differences. I'd recommend reading the book and then enjoying the mid-1940's black & white film with the gorgeous Ava Gardner and a young Victor McLaghlin. This certainly isn't the best of '40's crime drama but it was fun to see. If you've already seen the movie, read the book!!
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