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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 (email@example.com)
This movie doesn't quite make it into the ranks of noir. Although it's interesting to watch George Raft and Ava Gardener, there isn't any chemistry between them and their relationship is not believable.
Nevertheless, Gardner is amazing eye candy, a screen goddess, and steals every scene she is in. Frankly, she is so gorgeous that she is completely miscast in this little melodrama about small town hicks.
The story takes place in the post-depression era and contains a few nice plot twists. Victor McLaglen delivers a terrific performance as Raft's drinking buddy and partner in crime, but the rest of the cast don't do much for the movie except provide forgettable characters.
The direction and cinematography are okay but the biggest problem is the casting. None of the main characters except McLaglen fit their roles. The DVD (Classic Film Noir, Volume 2) is worth watching for Gardner and McLaglen, who sparkle in a movie that is otherwise quite ordinary.
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