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The Blonde Bandit (1950)

Newly arrived in a Western city, Kansan Gloria Dell waits at the train station to meet the fiance she has corresponded with, but never met, Larry Goodrich. When Larry does not arrive, Mrs. ... See full synopsis »


Harry Keller


John K. Butler (story and screenplay)




Credited cast:
Dorothy Patrick ... Gloria Dell
Gerald Mohr ... Joe Sapelli
Robert Rockwell ... Dist. Atty. James Deveron
Charles Cane Charles Cane ... Police Lt. Ralph Metzger
Larry J. Blake ... Police Capt. Ed Roberts
Argentina Brunetti ... Mama Sapelli
Richard Irving Richard Irving ... Benny
Philip Van Zandt ... Artie Jerome
Alex Frazer Alex Frazer ... Charles Winters
Ted Jacques Ted Jacques ... Bartender
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Monte Blue ... Police Chief Ramsey
Nana Bryant ... Mrs. Henley
Norman Budd ... Gus (Bookmaker)
David Clarke ... Police Lt. O'Connor
Walter Clinton Walter Clinton ... Waiter


Newly arrived in a Western city, Kansan Gloria Dell waits at the train station to meet the fiance she has corresponded with, but never met, Larry Goodrich. When Larry does not arrive, Mrs. Henley of the Woman's Welfare League advises Gloria to look for him at the address he has given her. Gloria walks to the nearby address, only to find a bar where the bartender says an employee, Larry Richards, was arrested earlier that day for bigamy. Gloria decides to follow the bartender's advice and sell her engagement ring to pay for a ticket home. She goes to a jeweler named Charles Winters, who offers her $1,000 for the ring, much more than it is worth. After Gloria leaves with the money, Winters quickly burns the sales receipt, ransacks the shop and phones the police to report that his shop has been robbed. When Gloria returns to the train station, an investigator is waiting to arrest her. At the police station, Gloria is placed in jail after they find the money Winters had given her for the ...

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SOCK DRAMA!...of suspense and violence in a vice-ridden city! (original window card)


Action | Crime | Drama | Romance


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Referenced in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) See more »

User Reviews

Satisfying little crime drama that is completely mistitled...
4 December 2014 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

because the only thing the "Blonde Bandit" steals is the heart of a gangster. Dorothy Patrick plays Gloria Dell, a girl who comes to the big city from Kansas to be married to a guy she's never met before, but has been corresponding with for quite some time. He never shows up at the train depot, so she heads off to his return address on his letters, armed with a photo. She gets there and discovers the guy is a con artist who has been marrying and bilking women for quite some time. Fortunately, he was picked up by the cops that morning. Not so fortunately, she doesn't have the money for a return ticket home. The owner of the bar, Joe Sapelli (Gerald Mohr), tells her about a jeweler who will buy her ring from her and thus she can get the return money home. What she doesn't know is that the jeweler owes a big gambling debt to Sapelli, and after the transaction he claims the jewelry store was robbed by Gloria, hoping for an insurance pay-off that will cover his gambling debt.

The police pick up Gloria and jail her, not buying her story. Who comes to her aid? The gambling mastermind Sapelli who gets her out on bail and gives her his own attorney, believing her story and feeling partially responsible for sending her to the jeweler in the first place. He also gives her a job as his assistant while she is awaiting trial and the two begin to fall for each other. It turns out Sapelli is not such a bad guy - he has old fashioned notions about marriage, loves his mother, and just seems to be providing a service - gambling - that people would do anyways.

The whole thing made me wonder - Where was head censor Joe Breen when this script crossed the censors' desk? It pretty much busts the production code wide open - not in a sexual way, but in the way criminals and law enforcement were portrayed during the code. Here Sapelli is practically Sir Lancelot in his nobility in sacrificing for Gloria. It is law enforcement that you want to hiss at because they are determined to get Sapelli, even though he is kingpin of a victimless crime and seems to treat his employees - the bookies - quite well. The bookies even get bonuses if they get picked up by the police while in the service of Sapelli.

In contrast, D.A. James Deveron is completely unconcerned with Gloria's guilt or innocence. He just seems to be happy to have someone who is up against it (Gloria) and in Sapelli's good graces whom he can strong-arm into ratting Sapelli out so he can get a case against him. He doesn't seem to care about what might happen to Gloria if she was found out, and Deveron threatens her with the news of her arrest getting back home to Kansas where her sister is about to marry into a prominent family. Like Oz's Tin Man, Deveron really needs to wish for a heart.

I highly recommend this little B film with B players who all acquit themselves marvelously in a rather complex little crime drama that will keep you guessing up to the end. It's an interesting little code buster that hits all of the right notes.

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Release Date:

11 January 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Blonde Bandit See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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