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Over-Exposed (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | April 1956 (USA)
Sexy blonde dance club girl learns the photography trade and moves to New York in pursuit of a new career.


Lewis Seiler


James Gunn (screen play), Gil Orlovitz (screen play) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cleo Moore ... Lila Crane
Richard Crenna ... Russell Bassett
Isobel Elsom ... Mrs. Payton Grange
Raymond Greenleaf ... Max West
Constance Towers ... Shirley Thomas (as Shirley Thomas)
James O'Rear James O'Rear ... Roy Carver
Donald Randolph Donald Randolph ... Coco Fields
Dayton Lummis Dayton Lummis ... Horace Sutherland
Jeanne Cooper ... Renee
Jack Albertson ... Les Bauer
Edna Holland ... Mrs. Gulick (as Edna M. Holland)
Dick Crockett Dick Crockett ... Jerry
Eddie Parker ... Matt (as Edwin Parker)
Geraldine Hall Geraldine Hall ... Martha
Voltaire Perkins Voltaire Perkins ... Judge Evans


Sexy blonde dance club girl learns the photography trade and moves to New York in pursuit of a new career.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


CLEO MOORE The Most EXCITING FIGURE SINCE MARILYN MONROE NUFF SAID! (original print ad - almost all caps) See more »


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

April 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'arma del ricatto See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The camera.man in the first scene, goes to the trouble of replacing the flash bulbs for the three photos taken, but the large format of the camera would require either flipping the film holder over between the first and second or complete replacement on each. He never touches the film holder. See more »


Lila appears on a New York City-based TV show aired by KXIV; in reality, all east coast TV/radio stations are prefaced by the letter W. Stations prefaced by letter K are in the west. See more »


Russell Bassett: [as Basset and West commiserate in the bar, after Basset calls to Steve, the bartender] Another round?
Max West: No, no thanks. I uh, I haven't been drinking as much since I first met Lila.
Russell Bassett: That's odd. I've been drinking more.
Max West: Well, on second thought, I...
Russell Bassett: [as Steve arrives in front of them ] Two more, Steve.
Steve the Bartender: [as he takes away their empty glasses] Comin' up.
See more »


Referenced in We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Cleo Moore's demonstration of Blonde Ambition, mid-1950s style
5 July 2004 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

In Over-Exposed, Cleo Moore makes an ascent from B-Girl to reigning photographer of café society that's as rapid as it is unpersuasive. She's a mid-1950s version of Blonde Ambition, or, as she puts it, `Where there's money, there's Lila – green becomes me.'

She wasn't always Lila, least of all not the night the clip joint she'd just started working for got raided. The alcoholic, has-been shutterbug (Raymond Greenleaf) who snaps her mug outside the police station takes pity on her by showing her the rudiments of his craft. She's a quick study and, more to the point, a shrewd operator, buttering up monied old janes with appeals to their deluded vanity.

Off to New York, she tries in vain to land a job as a photojournalist, though she befriends a young reporter (Richard Crenna). Instead, she opts for the glamor and easy money to be had as a `flash-girl' in a nightclub; on the side, she snaps compromising photos for a sleazy columnist (James O'Rear). Soon, she holds a concession at the poshest watering-hole in town, the Club Coco; the fact that it's mob-operated doesn't bother her, but it bothers straight-arrow Crenna, who's thinking of popping the question.

Invited to snap a birthday celebration at the club for grand dame Isobel Elsom, Moore inadvertently records the dowager's death throes as she slumps while displaying her newly acquired skills at the mambo. Moore decently destroys the photo, only to have O'Rear steal and publish the negative; closing ranks, her society clients drop her like a hot brick. Up against a wall, Moore decides to dabble in blackmail, using as bait another inadvertent picture – one that demolishes the alibi of one of club's mob backers, wanted for murder....

With elements of Shakedown and the soon-to-come Sweet Smell of Success, Over-Exposed stays a little too nice to rival them. It pulls back from any real nastiness and grit in its eagerness to keep the hard cookie Moore soft at the center (and insure smiles at the ending). Still, there are smirky glimpses into the world of parasites and lick-spittles who buzz around money, as well as welcome, old-school turns from Greenleaf and Elsom. Moore flashes solid credentials as a brassy schemer, while Crenna takes yet another step in the career that would stretch, chiefly through the magic of television, from Our Miss Brooks to The Rape of Richard Beck. Over-Exposed, diverting enough to watch, is quite under-developed.

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