The wheelchair-bound matriarch of an English family uses her handicap to cynically manipulate all those around her. She coldly destroys a daughter's relationship with a man she truly loves,... See full summary »
An expose of the baby-profiteering racket as told through the story of an unwed mother whose family and friends start an investigation as to the whereabouts of her baby. This leads to and through an organized gang led by a society matron. The girl is found dead, and while it looks like a suicide, the girl's sister and a newspaper reporter think it is murder.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Quick and dirty crawl through babies-for-sale racket
In Abandoned's opening shot, that iconic edifice, the Los Angeles City Hall, looms menacingly into the night sky. From then on, it's a fast, rough ride through a brutal baby-adoption racket. Gale Storm is best remembered (if at all) as TV's My Little Margie, but she co-starred in a few noirs like Underworld Story and Between Midnight and Dawn; Abandoned is the best of them. She's come to town hunting for her vanished sister, knowing only that there's an out-of-wedlock baby girl involved. Storm links up with Dennis O'Keefe, a newspaper man, and Raymond Burr, a private detective supposedly hired by the missing girl's father back east (an enigmatic specter hanging over the story: Storm confides that her sister left home because "he wouldn't leave us alone"). Turns out that Sis was murdered for developing maternal instincts after having giving the baby up. The web of baby-nappers includes grandmotherly but lethal Marjorie Rambeau, some even less savory characters behind her, and, of course, Burr. Abandoned, despite its Hollywood-"happy" finish, stands as one of the grittier offerings in the noir cycle (Burr's being tortured with matches is one especially painful speck of grit).
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