Streetwise but kind-hearted Maisie Ravier has put her vaudeville life behind her, but not its associated outward good looks, flash and glamor. Trying to get to New York for a job, she ... See full summary »
Streetwise but kind-hearted Maisie Ravier has put her vaudeville life behind her, but not its associated outward good looks, flash and glamor. Trying to get to New York for a job, she instead gets stranded in Los Angeles literally with only the clothes on her back. Lt. Paul Scott of the LAPD bunco squad sees in Maisie what he believes would be assets to his team. Paul is eventually able to convince his boss, Captain Mead, that he is not interested in her on a romantic basis, and as such, Maisie is placed on the fast track program through the necessary training. During the training, Maisie learns that Paul is a hard-nosed, straight laced and outwardly unfeeling man, where she finds Officer Chip Dolan, who was formerly in bunco and is trying to get back into the squad, is more a kindred soul. If Maisie is able to make it through the training, she may get to work on the case of fortune teller who is swindling people out of vast sums of money, but not through the fortune readings in and ... Written by
The Maisie movies, starring Ann Sothern, were B films, light fun, enlivened by their effervescent star. This is the last one. Though a series, each film was separate. Maisie would fall in love with one guy and in the next film, he'd be gone. She worked a variety of jobs, sometimes getting work as a performer.
Here, Maisie volunteers herself to an older woman who is driving her husband's car to California. Maisie offers to help with the driving. When she goes into the store, the woman, a con artist, takes off, taking Maisie's money and jewels with her. The next time we see Maisie, she is blowing her stack at a police detective (Barry Nelson) who is very impressed with her powers of observation. He offers her a job on the police force, and after some training, she goes undercover.
Actually, I thought this was pretty good, even though Maisie wasn't suspicious enough of some people she met along the way. Ann Sothern is terrific as always, full of energy and flirtatiousness, and an upbeat attitude. In this film, her character is described as 25; try 37. And I give her a lot of credit. She played a much younger woman in her two television series, when she was well into her forties.
Barry Nelson looked for years like he had a portrait aging in his closet - it was always hard to believe he was in these early films, as he remained youthful for many years. Here he sports a mustache, probably because at 30, he looked 20. His main career was on Broadway, where he was very prolific and worked into his '70s. And few remember that he was the first James Bond, on television.
"Undercover Maisie" moves quickly and is entertaining.
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