Sam Hurley, "Nation's No. 1 killer" with a cold contempt for "heroes," escapes prison with two companions and takes a mixed bag of hostages to Nevada ghost town Lost Hope City. He knows ... See full summary »
Of Joe Pasternak's 57 MGM productions released between 1942 and 1966, this film was just one of two which failed to garner a contemporary New York Times review. The second movie was Looking for Love (1964). See more »
After the dance number with Jane and the three guys with serving trays, they place the trays behind him and the sticks on the bottom they held while dancing were clearly visible, but cut to the next shot and the trays are flat on the floor. See more »
Rootless kid (Rooney) goes to LA, hooks up with a smooth-talking mobster (Craig) and an ambitious nightclub dancer (Forrest), and gets into trouble as a result.
Despite its odd parts, this little b&w adds up to a pretty entertaining whole. The numbers from jazz legends Louis Armstrong and Jack Teagarden should please even those who don't much care for that style. Rooney of course is Rooney, a little man in a big man's world. No longer Andy Hardy, he was increasingly difficult to cast despite continuing popularity. Here his connection to mobster Craig is quite a stretch. Too bad the screenplay couldn't work out something more plausible. Nonetheless, his performances are never boring, plus he's a real firecracker on the drums.
And who's expert inspiration was it to stick roughneck William Demarist with the impossible name "Fluff". In my book, his avuncular nightclub owner walks off with the film. Sally Forrest makes for a convincingly ambitious Hollywood wannabe and romantic foil for Rooney. Looks like her movie misfortune was to be short and bouncy at a time when Debbie Reynolds was getting a hammerlock on spunk. Speaking of cute, did they have to make the wholesome girl (Kay Brown, I think) quite so achingly sweet and vulnerable.
Film is also a promo for nightspots along the Sunset Strip, where Vic Damone, for one, performs. And that's a few years before the big TV hit 77 Sunset Strip, which also exploited Hollywood nightlife. Location filming here adds atmosphere and a good glimpse of tinsel town, circa 1950 , along with the tuneful theme A Kiss to Build a Dream On. Anyway, in spite of real flaws, it's still an entertaining little film with a very appropriate ending.
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