A police detective investigating a jewel robbery discovers evidence that points to his girlfriend as the culprit, although she claims she was framed. He arrests her anyway, and she is ... See full summary »
A police detective investigating a jewel robbery discovers evidence that points to his girlfriend as the culprit, although she claims she was framed. He arrests her anyway, and she is convicted and serves several years in prison. Finally out on parole, she is soon mixed up in a murder. The detective is torn between his love for his girlfriend and his belief that she may have committed the murder. Written by
No `Decoy,' The Hunted has its noir credentials in place and novelty star Belita
Imported from her native England as a second-string Sonja Henie, ice-skating novelty star Belita soon found that there was little call in Hollywood for her to lace up her blades. After a couple of ice musicals, she landed in three Poverty-Row noirs. In the first of them, Suspense, her skating skills were worked, however awkwardly, into the plot. But in the second, The Hunted, her prowess on the ice was a mere afterthought she briefly shows off her twirls and figure-8s because what audience she could still command expected them of her.
Too bad, because on the solid ground of The Hunted, Belita's not bad (with a tough, long forties face) and no longer needed the gimmickry. She's just finished a four-year stretch in Tehachapi for her part in a jewel robbery (she may have been framed). When her bus pulls into town one night, waiting for her, unseen, is Preston Foster, the cop who once loved her but sent her up anyway. He's convinced that Belita will come gunning for either him or the prosecuting attorney (Pierre Watkin). But when she has no place to go, he lets her bunk at his apartment, and lands her a gig skating during intermissions at hockey games. He slowly relents, thinking she's on the straight-and-narrow. Then Watkin is found murdered, and all the evidence points her way. When Foster turns against her once more, she lams it to Arizona to sling hash in a diner....
Jack Bernhard, who two years earlier had the good fortune to have Jean Gillie and the script for Decoy fall into his lap, directs this much less flamboyant script. He's good on atmospherics (dark highways in hard rains, cheap apartment houses) and keeps the story moving along (near the end of the movie, an uncredited Charles McGraw turns up as a hard-nosed cop). Bernhard made one or two more low-budget entries of passable interest (Blonde Ice among them), but Decoy's lightning was never, alas, to strike him again.
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