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Trying to shake his troubled past and start a new honest life, Floyd loses his job because of that past. With nowhere to go but back home in Oklahoma he gets news that his father's been murdered and the local sheriff lets the killer off with a self-defense plea. Bent on revenge, Floyd does what he must which leads him down a dark road littered with robbing banks and loose women. Floyd's final days are anything BUT pretty! Written by
The career of notorious 1930's bank robber Pretty Boy Floyd is recounted in this sleazy production that also manages to unfold in rather lackluster fashion. Ericson certainly merits the nickname 'Pretty Boy', however his romanticized killer fails to generate an eye-catching level of viciousness. Thus, the story lacks necessary spark at the center. Still, the producers do manage a few compensations. The movie does a pretty good job showing Floyd's lingering roots in Oklahoma where he was something of a folk hero, banks being not too popular in the Depression era 30's. The rural set-ups are also well done showing the shantytown poverty of the time. However, the rest of the production is threadbare, to say the least.
Then too, poor Joan Harvey (Lil) may look the part of Floyd's squeeze, but her acting skill sort of comes and goes. On the other hand, Carl York as Curly manages to inject some real feeling into an otherwise colorless narrative. Good to see Peter Falk getting his first movie break. Too bad he wasn't given a bigger role and a chance to spice things up. Lives of real gangsters were popular on both TV (The Lawless Years, and The Untouchables) and in a number of movies of the time (Capone, Baby Face Nelson). Unfortunately this minor effort is one of the more forgettable ones.
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