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Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia,
Edgar G. Ulmer
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The wife of an alcoholic writer must take a job as a taxi driver to make ends meet. A young man she picks up as a fare befriends her, but when her husband is found murdered, the police suspect she and her new "friend" committed the murder.
Edmund Dantes (Martin Kosleck), The Count of Monte Cristo, rides again in 1832, this time accompanied by (or stood in for) his countess wife, Haydee (Lenore Aubert. He is out for vengeance (using a mask and working as "The Avenger") against those who responsible for his imprisonment in the Chateau DIf, and justice for the people of Paris who are being mistreated by the crooked Prefect of Police and his henchmen associates, which leads Dantes engaging if a skirmish with the Gendarmerie, that leaves him incapacitated for a while, and Haydee takes his place as "The Avenger." Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Dantes' wife fools de Villefort for awhile until the Count returns
When this was over, I was surprised to see that it was a PRC production. I should have known because it has the same look as Bluebeard, which Edgar Ulmer also directed. Ulmer is known for getting a lot out of low budgets. Add this one to the list.
Paul Dessau's rousing score adds immeasurably to the proceedings. But the credit has also to go to Ulmer for getting sharp and engaging performances out of his cast, to the screenplay writer, to the film editors and to the actors.
John Loder has most of the screen time as villain de Villefort who has been milking the public with a fake anti-plague remedy. He's in cahoots with Danglars (Charles Dingle), a recognizable actor, and Maillard (Fritz Kortner, also recognizable). The story is, of course, different from the traditional, and that is a merit. The prison escape is told in flashback. Here Dantes (Martin Kosleck) is again the wealthy Count of Monte Cristo, but he's also a masked avenger like Zorro. However, for most of the movie, Kosleck is absent. His wife takes his place and for a good deal of the time she is stringing de Villefort along as he is a ladies man. Eva Gabor, sounding just like Zsa Zsa, has a small part. Eduardo Cianelli has a moderate part.
The Countess is Lenore Aubert, whom I could not recall having seen before. She comes across quite strongly and radiantly. She's believable in her role. The script has some good banter.
But most of this story is adventure: dark nights, horses riding, attacks on the king's men and on coaches, nighttime trials, dark prisons, a tavern in Montmartre, the roofs of Paris, close calls, swordplay, and escapes.
My favorites are Loder and Kosleck with Dingle and Kortner also weighing in. Loder was very busy in 1945 and 1946. He appeared in 8 films. Actors strike while the iron is hot. The ones I've seen with him are all good, and he adds a great deal to them: The Brighton Strangler, Jealousy, and A Game of Death. In 1947 he did Dishonored Lady, another good appearance. Kosleck is always excellent. He too was very busy in 1945 and 1946 and his films at that time are all worth catching, like this one. He was in such enjoyable features as The Frozen Ghost, Pursuit to Algiers, The Spider, and House of Horrors.
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