Polly, a young countryside girl decides to leave for the city and all it has to offer. She starts an relationship with John Dillinger and soon discovers that city life isn't as easy as she hoped when she gets entangled in a world of crime and prostitution. The movie is partly based on the life of John Dillinger. Written by
Lewis Teague was paid eleven thousand dollars to direct this film. However, since this movie was made non-union, he had to pay his entire salary as a fine to the Director's Guild. See more »
In the parlor at Anna Sage's bordello, when Polly meets Turk for the first time, one of the topless prostitutes obviously has breast implants and that surgery was not available during this time period. See more »
In the heart of little old New York, You'll find a thoroughfare. It's the part of little old New York That runs into Times Square. A crazy quilt that "Wall Street Jack" built, If you've got a little time to spare, I want to take you there. Come and meet those dancing feet, On the avenue I'm taking you to, Forty-Second Street.
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Clearly a product of the Corman School, Sayles's first major screenplay shows that he already knew how to tell a great story from an interesting angle, something he has never forgotten how to do.
Director Teague keeps the pace rattling along, and hammers the message home fast (he was an occasional assistant to Sam Fuller, of course).
The plot's quite straightforward, and all the better so - this packs something of the punch of the 30's classic gangster films, but with distinctly 70's sensibilities to violence.
Where the film becomes more interesting than your average low-budget 'gangster-exploiter', however, is in the telling of the story through her eyes, rather than his (a distinctly 70's approach). Yet it's wonderfully ambiguous, on reflection, as to whether the film champions her willingness to break away and start acting for herself (she's a great strong character), or whether she just goes from one woman in peril situation to the other (which is the plot, basically).
I've probably over-analyzed it already, but if you've got a spare hour and a half on your hands, give it a chance. A classic of its kind.
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