6.6/10
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Flaxy Martin (1949)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 15 February 1949 (USA)
Unscrupulous showgirl Flaxy Martin involves young attorney Walter Colby with mobster Hap Richie. A girl is murdered, with the evidence pointing to Flaxy, and Colby takes the rap and gets a ... See full summary »

Director:

Richard L. Bare (as Richard Bare)

Writer:

David Lang
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Virginia Mayo ... Flaxy Martin
Zachary Scott ... Walter Colby
Dorothy Malone ... Nora Carson
Tom D'Andrea ... Sam Malko
Helen Westcott ... Peggy Farrar
Douglas Kennedy ... Hap Richie
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Roper
Douglas Fowley ... Max, Detective
Monte Blue ... Joe, Detective
Jack Overman ... Caesar
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Storyline

Unscrupulous showgirl Flaxy Martin involves young attorney Walter Colby with mobster Hap Richie. A girl is murdered, with the evidence pointing to Flaxy, and Colby takes the rap and gets a 20 year sentence. San Malko gives Colby the clue to the real killer and, en route to prison, he escapes and is found by Nora Carson who shelters him. After escaping from one of Richie's gunmen, Walter heads for Flaxy's apartment, where she admits she double-crossed him. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A girl with a heart of ice!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 February 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Smart Money See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's earliest documented telecasts took place in Tucson Tuesday 31 July 1956 on KDWI (Channel 9), in Columbus Wednesday 1 August 1956 on WTVN (Channel 6), in Cincinnati Saturday 4 August 1956 on WKRC (Channel 12), in Los Angeles Tuesday 14 August 1956 on KTLA (Channel 5), in Phoenix Monday 27 August 1956 on KVAR (Channel 12), in Miami Tuesday 11 September 1956 on WTVJ (Channel 4), in Indianapolis Saturday 15 September 1956 on WFBM (Channel 6), and in Boston Friday 28 September 1956 on WBZ (Channel 4). See more »

Goofs

Roper and Caesar continually address Colby (a lawyer) as "Shamus." A shamus is a private eye; the word they meant to use is "shyster." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Remington Steele: Cast in Steele (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

The Gold Diggers' Song (We're in the Money)
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played on the piano in the apartment
See more »

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User Reviews

Doesn't Gel
13 September 2009 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Catch that great scene where Flaxy (Mayo) beats up a blackmailing Peggy, (Westcott) with the timid hotel clerk hovering outside the door. Big-eyed Westcott really delivers in spades. Too bad the rest of the movie fails to reach that intense level. Looks to me like Warner Bros. used the film as an A-team try-out for cast principals and director. Now, Scott, for one, comes through perfectly as the lawyer with a wobbly compass— I'm just sorry this fine, exotic actor never got the recognition his talent deserved. The material, however, with its nifty double- cross, really merited an A-team director, like Walsh or Curtiz. Instead, the studio gave featurette director Richard Bare a shot, and the result shows he had little feel for the dark material.

Unfortunately, the movie is inferior grade noir, lacking in both style and edge. Take the early scene where Walt (Scott) and Hap (Kennedy) iron out wrinkles in the plot to free Caesar (Overman) from a murder rap. They're standing stock still in Hap's living room, talking, and that's the trouble: they stand stock still for about two minutes doing little more than delivering their lines. Thus, a potentially dramatic scene of rivalry calling for an expressive dynamic falls flat, drained of needed energy and tension.

But Bare seems most at sea in directing the lead actresses. Mayo looks lost in her key scenes with Scott— the second side of Flaxy's devious personality, the calculating side, fails to appear, and thus we're left with a very pretty girl speaking the lines, but without the necessary depth. Catch Malone too in the graveside scene. She's an unsophisticated librarian staring into the open pit of her own doom, but judging from the absence of needed emotion, she might as well be reading a book. Now, Malone later proved a fine actress of many dimensions, (e.g. Written on the Wind {1955}). Here, however, she's stuck in a thankless good girl role, so likely director Bare is at fault for not giving her the necessary cues. I suspect the movie would have improved had actresses Malone and Mayo switched roles.

Then too, Walt's sudden turn-around with 40 grand in his pocket is awkwardly handled. Even an A-grade filmmaker would have trouble making this bit of Production Code hokum believable, but in Bare's hands it comes across as little more than a clumsily developed happy ending. Thus, it's not surprising that the studio returned the director to making the humorous shorts he was so good at following this failed experiment. I also better understand why editors Silver and Ward omitted this entry from their highly successful tome Film Noir. Unfortunately, the movie may have all the trappings of the genre, but like bread dough in the hands of a neophyte baker, the loaf simply fails to gel.


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