|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Index||14 reviews in total|
A Dangerous Profession is a mildly diverting crime picture featuring a fine cast headed by veterans George Raft and Pat O'Brien, both of whom had seen better days by the time they appeared in this picture. Nor is the direction of the usually reliable Ted Tetzlaff up to his usual standard. This is the kind of small scale but not quite grade B movie that television was about to make obsolete, and as such an interesting historical footnote of a bygone era for those who care for such things.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Although George Raft and Pat O'Brien share star billing in A Dangerous
Profession, the film's action is mainly carried by Raft with O'Brien
strictly in support. The two of them play bail bondsman, partners in a
bail bond firm. But Raft has a professional and romantic past that get
in the way here.
Ella Raines with whom Raft had a fling while she was separated from husband Bill Williams comes to Raft for help with bail. Williams comes from a rich background, but his daddy squandered the family fortune and he's not up to a lifestyle change. Williams gets himself in with some crooks doing a little white collar crime and finds himself hung with a murder rap of the investigating detective.
The plot starts out like a poor man's Casablanca with Raft like Bogart coming to the aid of his former love's husband whom he didn't know anything about. O'Brien who's not thinking with his hormones doesn't want the firm involved, but Raft insists. Later on Williams turns up dead himself and then Raft's old profession of police detective kicks in despite O'Brien warning him of an inherent conflict of interest.
I wish we had seen a little more of Pat O'Brien, but A Dangerous Profession is a competently made noir film. Ella Raines does well as a combination of Lauren Bacall and Lizabeth Scott in her role as the woman that everyone can't resist. Jim Backus plays Raft's former partner as a cop and he's showing some versatility here that will surprise those who only know him as the inept Mr. Magoo and the rich Thurston Howell IV.
One of the competently made noir films that Raft was doing in the later part of the Forties. His films would go considerably downhill shortly.
A career police detective turned bail bondsman (George Raft) meets his ex-flame (Ella Raines) (he knows it's her because of the scent of the perfume that's in her and her husband's hotel room which he and detective Jim Backus search) in a fairly intricate story about her husband (Bill Williams) whose arrested for suspicion of killing a cop and then bailed out by Raft, against the wishes of his partner (Pat O'Brien). Why he's bailed out and who actually comes up with sufficient money to get him out of jail make for interesting viewing. As well, Ella Raines hits some of her more sultry looking scenes in this movie, which may not be the best movie she's ever been in, but still percolates along more than acceptably, especially when the real killer emerges as the sharp little film heads out of LA and into a convenient canyon.
A Dangerous Profession is directed by Ted Tetzlaff and written by
Warren Duff and Martin Rackin. It stars George Raft, Ella Raines, Pat
O'Brien, Bill Williams and Jim Backus. Music is by Frederick Hollander
and cinematography by Robert De Grasse.
The scene is set, it's Los Angeles and Police Lt. Nick Ferrone (Backus) explains to us with stentorian narration about the whiles of bail bond brokers. This story is concerned with one in particular, Vince Kane (Raft), a one time policeman who followed the lure of the coin into a partnership of a bail bonds operation. It's all going swimmingly well, he's making lots of cash, has gals eating out of his hand, but when a pretty face from his past turns up requesting a favour? Vince suddenly finds himself in a quagmire of murder, deceit and emotional discord.
What cop ever reformed?
Shall we cut to the chase here? This is not a "great" film, though I do believe that it's very under seen and therefore the meagre internet ratings it has - and the lack of reviews for it - don't quite tell the whole story.
There's nothing particularly striking about the visual aspects here, De Grasse's photography occasionally falls in line with what film noir fans consider standard procedure, which has led a few critics to question the film's film noir status. This is all about Vince Kane and how he is thrust into a murky new world by a slinky femme, it may be a whodunit in essence, but the Vince and Lucy Brackett (Raines) axis is most assuredly noir.
You phony Gumshoe!
Action is in short supply, leaving much of the piece in talky territory. There's a few zinger lines of dialogue in the mix, but mostly it's screen writing 101. Yet in spite of the mixed qualities on offer here, it's a film that Raft fans are sure to enjoy, because he's very much great value as the stoic but emotionally troubled Vince. In fact O'Brien turns in one of his better performances and Raines is pleasingly sultry, meaning the cast perform well up to scratch, even if the screenplay does them few favours.
A mixed bag for sure, and hardly essential for fans of such cinematic fare, but there's just enough from the cast to make this one above average. 6/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A murder investigation, an enigmatic woman and a man who's obsessed
with her, are three typical film noir components that are featured in
this movie. A lot less typical however, is the fact that the story's
main protagonist is a bail bondsman who gets caught up in a mystery
that's linked to a robbery, a couple of murders and a character with
more than one identity. During the course of his investigation, he has
to take some significant risks and as someone who's only been in the
bail bonding business for a relatively short time, discovers that his
new profession is considerably more dangerous than he could ever have
After arresting a man called Claude Brackett (Bill Williams) who he'd been pursuing for some time, LAPD Detective Lieutenant Nick Ferrone (Jim Backus) asks his old friend and ex-cop Vince Kane (George Raft) to go with him to search the man's apartment. Kane, who's now the junior partner in a bail bonding brokerage, is surprised when he becomes aware of a familiar fragrance in one of the rooms and sees some items of ladies' clothing and footwear that he also recognises. Before he leaves, he places one of his business cards in a conspicuous position.
Shortly after, Kane is visited in his office by Brackett's wife Lucy (Ella Raines) and her lawyer who want his help to raise the $25,000 that's being demanded to get Brackett released on bail. Brackett's bail had been set at a high level because, as well as being suspected of being involved in a securities robbery, it's also possible that he killed a policeman who died at the crime scene. Lucy is one of Kane's old flames who disappeared from his life without any explanation and left him devastated. She says her husband's innocent but, as she's only able to raise $4,000 is seems unlikely that Kane can help. However, when another lawyer called Matthew Dawson (David Wolfe) calls by his office the next day and offers to put up an additional sum of $12,000, Kane agrees to help out. Senior partner Joe Farley (Pat O'Brien) is angry about Kane's decision to risk so much of the business' money to get Brackett released from police custody but things soon get worse when Brackett is found murdered and Kane feels compelled to investigate the circumstances that led to his violent death.
A tension that's created by Kane and Lucy's past relationship and the fact that Kane obviously still has strong feelings for her, runs right through the movie and is intensified by Lucy's confusing actions and body language. This makes Kane distrust her assertions that she doesn't still love her husband and makes him dubious about her explanations of what was taking place in her life when they originally met. Ella Raines' skill in being this mysterious in so natural a way is impressive and makes Lucy more interesting than she would otherwise have been.
Kane's success in identifying the villains at the heart of the mystery (though his conversation with a cigarette girl) and the actions that he takes to bring their activities to an end are carried out quite efficiently with some extra excitement being generated by the action scenes at the end of the movie. George Raft is convincing as a tough guy and does a good job overall.
This movie has a strong cast, good momentum throughout and an especially good performance by Ella Raines. Its weakest point, however, is its dialogue which isn't as sharp or as witty as this type of crime drama requires.
George Raft, Ella Raines, Pat O'Brien, Jim Backus, and Bill Williams
star in "A Dangerous Profession," a 1949 film directed by Ted Tetzlaff.
Vince Kane (Raft) is an ex-cop who now works as a bail bondsman with his friend Joe Farley (O'Brien). A detective, Nick Ferrone (Backus) arrests Claude Brackette (Williams) a suspect in a robbery during which a police officer was killed. Kane finds out that Brackette's wife is none other than his old girlfriend, Lucy (Raines).
Lucy wants her husband out on bail. She believes he's innocent. The bail is set at $25,000, and she only has $4,000. Still angry over their breakup, and the fact that he didn't know she was married when they were together, Kane shows her the door. Then a mystery man gives Kane $12,000 toward the bail. Vince puts the company's money over the objection of his partner.
Vince thinks that an associate of Brackette's, a nightclub owner, was the brains behind the robbery. Kane poses as a crook, something that his demeanor lends itself to, and blackmails McKay to see if he can find out if he's guilty.
Fairly routine, with Raft his usual dapper and smooth self. This plot gets a little convoluted, probably due to edits. Not the best, but if you like Raft and the lovely Ella Raines, you'll enjoy it. Bill Williams played Kit Carson on TV and married to Barbara Hale, TV's Della Street on Perry Mason, for 46 years, until his death. He's the father of actor William Katt, and there's quite a resemblance.
"A Dangerous Profession" is a decent enough film...the sort mildly
entertaining stuff that George Raft made in the post-war years. It
begins with Vince (Raft) working as a bail bondsman along with his
partner (Pat O'Brien). Apparently Vince used to be a cop but decided to
change careers. Why he wanted a change soon becomes apparently when his
old girlfriend, Lucy (Ella Raines) shows up to try to bail her stupid
husband out of jail. This IS a surprise...as Vince hasn't heard from
her since she disappeared some time ago...nor did he know she was
married...and had been when he knew her! Of course it's a surprise but
Vince is a dope...so he helps her and her dopier husband. But when the
husband soon is murdered, things get really, really confusing. So
This is a mildly interesting film but it suffers a bit from Raft's relatively dull screen persona as well as his being a bit too trusting to be realistic. The story also becomes a bit confusing and is, if you think about it, a bit like a reworking of "Casablanca"! Odd but worth seeing if you like old film noir movies.
The cast is excellent, George Raft is very focused and on the mark,
giving a good star performance. The basic idea of the film is good,
involving the bail-bond business and all of its inherent potential for
mischief, with cops, ex-cops, criminals, etc. But you just wonder if
maybe Ted Tetzlaff the director might have been in over his head, or
maybe lost interest in this production. The direction is generally
poor, with the movement of actors being staged with seeming
indifference at times.
Ella Raines is not showcased by the producers or director in a star manner and her acting is just not very good in this one. She seems a bit sluggish at times. Ms. Raines having done a brilliant job on a number of classic movies, you really wonder what is going on with her here. I know she lived a long life and graciously accepted some interviews; it would be interesting to know if she ever mentioned the causes of her flat efforts in this.
Its too bad because Raft shows up in all the scenes, sharp and ready to go. He just isn't given much to work with.
Unfortunately "A Dangerous Profession" is pretty much a time waster but is competent in every respect except for the lackluster direction, and the puzzling results by Ella Raines.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The only thing missing here is Charlie Chan showing up at the end to
tell the viewer what just happened. Actually it's not all that
complicated, but you do have to pay attention because there's a bit of
sleight of hand with character Roy Collins (Robert Gist), who's using
the alias of Max Gibney doing a money hand-off to an attorney named
Dawson (David Wolfe), who winds up having nothing to do with the murder
mystery. Not exactly a maguffin, but a distraction nonetheless.
The early going can be a little confusing so don't get up for a cup of coffee. Eventually it's revealed that former cop turned bail bondsman Vince Kane (George Raft) once had a thing for sultry Lucy Brackett (Ella Raines), and now finds himself in a vise between his partner Joe Farley (Pat O'Brien), police lieutenant Nick Ferrone (Jim Backus), and night club owner Jerry McKay (Roland Winters). Might as well mention Lucy's husband just got nailed for securities fraud and a two year old murder rap of another cop. Claude Brackett (Bill Williams) took the easy way out getting himself knocked off by one of the guys who framed him; it's Kane's job to try and figure it all out.
Ella Raines has the perfect femme fatale persona going for her in this little noir mystery but somebody goofed with her hair, looking like she just came in out of the rain. Jim Backus offers up a much harder edge to his character than one might be used to seeing, and gets tough with Kane for putting up the extra bond money for Brackett, suspecting a collusion angle with Lucy. After everything gets sorted out in the frantic finale I was left with a single but giant question mark - why would Vince hand his gun over to McKay on the way to pick up Collins/Gibney?
A DANGEROUS PROFESSION is a rather disappointing slice of film noir
starring gangster favourite George Raft. Raft plays a former cop now
working as a bail bondsman who is persuaded by a femme fatale to help
raise the money to get her innocent husband out of prison. However, on
his release the plot thickens, and Raft finds himself up against some
sinister criminal types if he wants justice to be served.
The plot is an interesting one and all of the ingredients are right, so it's just a pity the execution is so sloppy here. A DANGEROUS PROFESSION is anything but dangerous: there's endless talk, a bored-looking Raft wandering around aimlessly for a long while, and not much else. It lacks suspense and a sense of pace to keep it moving along, and instead it just feels stodgy. I did like Ella Raines as the alluring femme fatale, though, and Pat O'Brien is always watchable.
|Page 1 of 2:|| |
|Plot summary||Ratings||External reviews|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|