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Stage Struck (1948)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 13 June 1948 (USA)
The police find the body of hostess Helen Howard (Wanda McKay), disposed of by petty racketeer Nick Mantee (Kane Richmond) after she was shot in his Bluejay night club by Benny Nordick (... See full summary »

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(screenplay) (as George W. Sayre), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
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Police Lt. Williams
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Police Sgt. Tom Ramey
John Gallaudet ...
Benny Nordick
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Mr. Barda
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Janet Winters
Charles Trowbridge ...
Police Capt. Webb
Nana Bryant ...
Mrs. Howard
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Mr. Howard
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Miss Lloyd
Wanda McKay ...
Helen Howard
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Ruth Ames (as Jacqueline Thomas)
Wilbur Mack ...
Prof. Corella
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Storyline

The police find the body of hostess Helen Howard (Wanda McKay), disposed of by petty racketeer Nick Mantee (Kane Richmond) after she was shot in his Bluejay night club by Benny Nordick (John Gallaudet) because she knew too much about Mantee's rackets. Police Lieutenant Williams (Conrad Nagel) and police Sergeant Tom Ramey (Ralph Byrd) inform the dead girl's parents and sister Nancy (Audrey Long) of the run-away's death. Nancy, following Helen's trail, signs with the Mercer Agency operated by Nordick, training girls for an excessive sum which they work off as hostesses at the Bluejay Club. Nancy becomes a hostess at the club and after a party for Latin-American night club owner Barda (Anthony Warde), she uncovers evidence that places Helen at the club. She accuses Nick and Benny of the murder and the two mobsters realize they must do away with her. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

TRUE! BRUTAL! SHOCKING! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

13 June 1948 (USA)  »

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(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Final film of veteran director William Nigh. See more »

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User Reviews

 
exciting, well-acted crime drama about missing young women
7 January 2002 | by (south Texas USA) – See all my reviews

Structured much like an exploitation film, but minus any sleaze

or cynicism, this 1948 crime drama exposes the sordid world of "modeling agencies" set up to entrap and exploit lonely runaway young women from small towns who find themselves in the big city, waiting for some kind of "break" toward a career in modeling or acting. With a first-class supporting cast (Conrad Nagel, Evelyn Brent, Wanda McKay, Ralph "Dick Tracy" Byrd), the film pits Audrey Long--the sister of the young woman whose murder opens the film-- against the seedy yet suave Kane Richmond. Richmond, in one of his last roles before retiring from the screen and re-entering the business world, is best-known as leading man in many 1930s/1940s action films and serials, yet here he is the heavy, and he uses his personal charm to comfort then exploit the young women who are all to eager for a "break." Director William Nigh--whose last film this was and whose credits as director-writer-actor-producer date back to the mid-1910s--keeps the action moving at a brisk pace, but clearly worked with each actor to capture the right tone of performance, so that as "predictable" as the elements of the film may be to the genre-film fan, each character seems real. I first saw this film six or eight years ago and just watched it again, and it's just as solid and riveting as I remember it. Kane Richmond is especially memorable in a rare villain role, and the devoted fan of B-crime films of the 40s (this was a Monogram release) should search for a copy.


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