Roger Lewis, publisher of a vicious scandal sheet, is in the habit of tricking wealthy, gullible women into investing in his ventures. His latest conquest is a shapely ex-showgirl, Doris ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Detective Lt. James 'Jim' Webster
...
Linda Jackson
...
Roger Lewis
...
Doris King Jackson
...
Harry Jackson
...
'Biggie' Wolfe
John Eldredge ...
Johnny Rocco
...
'Pop' Swenson
...
George Richards, District Attorney
Grace Albertson ...
Mona Durant, Lewis' Sweetheart (as Grace Gillern)
Lester Sharpe ...
Mr. Schmidt, Pawnbroker
...
Newcombe--Police Detective
...
Mrs. Schmidt
...
Dr. Lowell
...
Saunders
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Storyline

Roger Lewis, publisher of a vicious scandal sheet, is in the habit of tricking wealthy, gullible women into investing in his ventures. His latest conquest is a shapely ex-showgirl, Doris King, the wife of Harry Jackson, once a top-flight producer. Jackson has lost all his money, but Doris still has her jewels, and she wants to divorce her husband and marry Lewis, who has no intentions of marrying her once he gets his hands on her (money) jewels. Jackson, concerned about Doris' happiness and wanting to prevent her from ruining her life, takes the jewels. Then he becomes involved in a fight with Lewis, who takes his revenge by killing Doris and pinning suspicion on Jackson. Jackson goes into hiding and falls prey to a small-time crook, "Biggie" Wolfe, who is secretly in the pay of Lewis. Wolfe wants to sell the jewelry and keep the proceeds for himself, telling Jackson the money will serve to get him the services of a good lawyer, but Lewis wants Jackson found with the jewels on him, ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Smeared by Scandal that led to MURDER! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

30 January 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Desmascarado  »

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Routine noir programmer redeemed by Raymond Burr's accomplished malice
31 July 2003 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

In his many appearances in the noir cycle, Raymond Burr usually supplied the bitter icing for the devil's-food cake. But his few starring roles (Unmasked, Please Murder Me) landed him in vehicles that, in look and length, resembled the Perry Mason show for which he would soon become rich and famous. Were it a bit longer and more stylish, Unmasked might have been a competitive entry in the cycle; as it stands, it's standard-issue Republic fare, memorable chiefly owing to Burr.

He plays a slimy scandal-sheet editor (thus taking his place in a line of sinister media luminaries portrayed in, among others, Laura, The Big Clock, Scandal Sheet, The Glass Web and Slander). He can't be very good at selling his rag, because it depends on subventions from showgirl Hillary Brooke, who made it big on Broadway. Burr woos her with empty promises, knowing she can't get a divorce from husband Paul Harvey, an older impresario now reduced to living in a bed-sitter with a hotplate. To avoid signing yet more promissory notes, Burr strangles Brooke and frames Harvey for the murder.

The rest of the movie devolves into routine cops-and-robbers stuff. Coming to her father's aid, Harvey's schoolteacher daughter journeys down to Manhattan from one of those many upstate New York towns that resemble sunny California; police detective Robert Rockwell helps her (he got gypped; he takes star billing but a dull secondary role). Added to the mix are an informant (Norman Budd, who tells Burr `You kinda like to hate in bunches, don't you?'); a gangster (John Eldredge) whose brother is killed during a prison break; and several excursions to a foggy place on Long Island Sound called Swenson's Landing. Still, Burr brings to it his suave black magic, never more effective than when the huge orbs of his eyes flash with gleeful malice.


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