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Confessions of a Vice Baron (1943)

On the eve of his execution, a vice-rackets bigshot recalls his various exploits in crimes such as abortion and white slavery, in which he frequently operated under an alias.

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Cast overview:
Willy Castello ...
Lucky Lombardi aka Count de Hoven / Van Hersten / Kilonis
J.M. Randall, alias Dr. Havens (edited from 'Race Suicide') (archive footage)


On the eve of his execution, a vice-rackets bigshot recalls his various exploits in crimes such as abortion and white slavery, in which he frequently operated under an alias.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HIRED GUNS - SEX SLAVES - EASY MONEY! (original poster-all caps) See more »







Release Date:

30 June 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Skid Row  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This wartime exploitation film was mostly made up of scenes from earlier exploitation films. New footage features Willy Castello as a prisoner about be be executed who dictates the the story of his life of crime. This provides the framework for the use of scenes from earlier films. See more »


Edited from Mad Youth (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

Cynical sleaze...
4 August 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

'illegal operation' nudity, abortion and baby snatching clinic, gigolo, procurer, prostitution, fornication, Mann Act-- some footage very random--such as stripper video often used two synonyms Willy Castello

Although the Production Code of 1934 did an excellent job of cleaning up the content of films, not everything was squeaky clean in theaters across America. Although the Code forbade mentions of premarital sex (unless it was severely punished), abortion, homosexuality, prostitution and the like, some low-life distributors made films that slipped in under the radar, so to speak. In the guise of 'educational films' geared towards warning parents about risks to their children, all sorts of prohibited topics were not fair game. But, since the various censor boards in each state would never allow these sorts of sleazy exploitation films, often they were marketed city by city--almost like a traveling evangelism show. And, if you had the money to pay for admission and you appeared to be old enough, you got to learn the wicked truth...along with some occasional nudity, violence and sexual sadism!

"Confessions of a Vice Baron" is clearly one of these traveling exploitation films. Its topics include underground abortion 'clinics' (run by folks who'd read a few medical books and so were called 'doctors'), fornication, white slavery (i.e., trapping girls and forcing them into sex slavery), baby snatching and a few glimpses of nudity! Oddly, drugs and alcoholism somehow were omitted in this film--but it's not like the movie avoided too many sins!

Willy Costello stars as the vice baron in the title, Lucky Lombardi. Although this actor with a strong accent is not exactly the type you'd expect in such a role, he is just fine as the king of sleaze. The film begins with Lombardi on Death Row--and he's come to the warden to tell his tale of excess and evil in order to warn our children. And, of course ALL the excesses are shown in this film--including many clips from other films that were tossed into the movie. In its defense, although the clips were random, they were well-placed and only seemed somewhat irrelevant! The nude scene, strippers stripping and a few other scenes obviously were lifted from other films--and I laughed as several scenes involved folks with mid-1930s hairstyles! So is it any good? Not really. But, it IS entertaining and worth seeing if you like this sort of trash.

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