The body of an unknown woman turns up in a stolen car abandoned in a New York park, and the only clue the detectives on the case have to work from is the tattoo on her arm, and the fact ... See full summary »
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Josef von Sternberg,
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Edward L. Cahn
The body of an unknown woman turns up in a stolen car abandoned in a New York park, and the only clue the detectives on the case have to work from is the tattoo on her arm, and the fact that someone tried to deface the corpse to remove the evidence. From this slender trail, and that of a single stem of grass discovered in the car, they gradually trace back first the victim and then her killer, in a case that's all science and legwork, and no magic inspiration. Written by
Not particularly good, but not totally without interest
Very low-budget police procedural film about homicide detectives trying to solve the murder of a woman whose body turns up in a stolen car in Central Park, and their only clue is a tattoo on her arm. Although released by RKO, this has the look of an independent production that was picked up by the studio for distribution. The cast and crew, with a few exceptions--among them a young and uncredited Jack Lord, director Edward Montagne and cameraman William Steiner--are comprised of complete unknowns, and it shows. The performances are universally sub-par and wouldn't pass muster in a high school training film, the direction is stodgy and choppy and, as mentioned previously, there's no chemistry whatsoever between the lead actors. However, despite the film's many shortcomings, it does have a few good points. The location shooting in New York City, and the film's ultra-low budget, gives it a gritty authenticity much like that of the far superior "The Naked City", a shootout in a dark basement is decently handled, and some of the investigating procedures are clever. Otherwise, it's not much to write home about. It is worth a look, however, for a glimpse at the seamier sections of New York City in the early 1950s, and old-car buffs will be ecstatic to see the legions of '30s and '40s cars in the streets.
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