Film Noir Friday: Convicted [1950]


 Welcome!  The lobby of the Deranged L.A. Crimes theater is open. Grab a bucket of popcorn, some Milk Duds and a Coke and find a seat.

Tonight’s feature is CONVICTED starring Glenn Ford and Broderick Crawford.

Enjoy the film!

TCM says:

After a fight in a nightclub ends with the death of a prominent politician’s son, Joe Hufford is arrested and charged with murder. Although the district attorney, George Knowland, advises Joe to hire a good criminal lawyer, Joe decides to stick with Vernon Bradley, the corporation lawyer sent by his employer. Knowland, who believes the death to be accidental, suggests that Bradley have Joe plead guilty to manslaughter. Bradley refuses and, after the case goes to trial, the lawyer’s lack of experience in criminal law results in a guilty verdict for Joe, who is sent to prison. After six months, Joe joins a group of prisoners who are planning an escape.


Film Noir Friday: Quicksand [1950] & Drive A Crooked Road [1954]


Welcome!  The lobby of the Deranged L.A. Crimes theater is open. Grab a bucket of popcorn, some Milk Duds and a Coke and find a seat.

Tonight, as a tribute to Mickey Rooney who passed away earlier this week, we’re showing a double feature starring the diminutive actor. If you only recall Rooney as Andy Hardy, you’re in for a surprise. The actor actually took his turn at film noir during the 1950s.

First up is QUICKSAND [1950] starring Mickey Rooney, Jeanne Cagney, Barbara Bates and Peter Lorre.

TCM says:

At a diner, young auto mechanic Dan Brady has just finished telling his co-worker Chuck that he has broken up with his adoring girl friend, Helen Calder, when he notices the stunning blonde cashier, Vera Novak. Dan convinces Vera to go out with him that evening, but when he returns to his job at the garage, he remembers that he has no money. While making change at the register, Dan realizes that the bookkeeper will not be in to check the cash drawer for a few days and decides to borrow twenty dollars, intending to pay it back the next day when he collects the money that his friend, Buzz Larson, owes him.

And thus begins Brady’s downward spiral…


Second on tonight’s bill is the 1954 film DRIVE A CROOKED ROAD starring Mickey Rooney and Dianne Foster.

TCM says:

Los Angeles auto mechanic Eddie Shannon, a devoted car buff with no family or other outside interests, frequently competes in local car races to improve his driving. The other mechanics at work tease Eddie constantly over his diminutive stature and solitary nature. One day Eddie meets Barbara Mathews, an attractive woman who invites him to the beach. Uncertainly, Eddie accepts the invitation, and at the beach Barbara introduces him to Steve Norris, a handsome businessman from the East, who is spending several weeks in a Santa Monica beach house. Eddie is surprised when Barbara shows an interest in him and shyly begins dating her. Barbara tries to learn as much about Eddie’s interests as possible, but asks him if he is content to remain a mechanic all his life. Eddie confides that his dream has always been to drive in one of the top European races. Barbara takes Eddie to a party thrown by Steve and his associate, Harold Baker, and during the evening, Steve asks Eddie his opinion about the best kind of race car. After the party, Barbara advises Eddie that Steve might be able to help him realize his dream of racing in Europe. Later that evening, Steve visits Barbara, eager to discuss plans for a bank robbery, for which they hope to use Eddie’s driving skill. Barbara pleads with Steve to call off the heist, as she feels sorry for Eddie, a lonely man who has never experienced love…

Film Noir Friday: Woman On The Run [1950]

woman_on_the_run_xlgWelcome!  The lobby of the Deranged L.A. Crimes theater is open. Grab a bucket of popcorn, some Milk Duds and a Coke and find a seat. Tonight’s feature is WOMAN ON THE RUN [1950].  Directed by Norman Foster and starring Ann Sheridan and Dennis O’Keefe.  Enjoy the film!

TCM says:

Frank Johnson (Ross Elliott), sole witness to a gangland murder, goes into hiding and is trailed by Police Inspector Ferris (Robert Keith), on the theory that Frank is trying to escape from possible retaliation. Frank’s wife, Eleanor (Ann Sheridan), suspects he is actually running away from their unsuccessful marriage. Aided by a newspaperman, Danny Leggett (Dennis O’Keefe), Eleanor sets out to locate her husband. The killer is also looking for him, and keeps close tabs on Eleanor.

The Collateral Damage Divorce, Part 1

halts bombOn April 17, 1950, H.A. Mayer, a cargo loader for United Airlines, was just heaving the last piece of luggage, a 47-pound suitcase, into the rear cargo hatch of a DC-3 when a corner of the bag snagged on the hatchway, and as it did a puff of smoke curled into the air. Mayer threw the suitcase to the ground and grabbed a fire extinguisher. As he was pouring chemicals onto the smoking case a wild-eyed man, huffing, puffing and sweating profusely, ran up and gasped:

“Thank God you didn’t get it aboard!”

Then the man lunged for the bag. The baggage handler and the stranger engaged in a fierce tug-of-war over the case and the stranger emerged victorious. He dashed out of the terminal clutching the still-smoking bag, but just as he was about to get into a parked car he was seized by Richard Clarke, ramp supervisor, and Jim Moore, another UAL employee, who threw the bag into a parking lot across the street and held the stranger for the cops.

The man collapsed to the curb beside his blue sedan and sobbed:

I couldn’t do it!  I just couldn’t do it!”

Thirteen passengers and a crew of three — Capt. Dick Bechtel, pilot; E.L. Keck, co-pilot, and Mary Kubichi, stewardess, were removed from the plane which had been less than five minutes from take-off before the odd incident took place.

What the hell had just happened, and who was the wild-eyed stranger anyway?

One of the passengers, twenty-six year old Betty Grant and her two children, Marie Ann (6) and Robert (5) immediately recognized the sobbing man as thirty-two year old John Henry Grant, husband and father.  Betty and the kids watched as John was led away for questioning by the cops.

plotters remorse

C.H. Colley, Venice Police (L) and John Henry Grant (R)

During his interrogation Grant blurted out:

“I wanted to end it…this was the only way I knew…but I lost my nerve…my wife and youngsters–it’s not their fault…I’m a sick man…”

It was becoming uncomfortably clear to everyone that John Grant was indeed a very sick man who, until his eleventh hour attack of conscience, had been willing to kill a plane load of people, his wife and two young children among them.  It sounded too diabolical to be true; but was it?

Film Noir Friday, On Saturday! — Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye [1950]

Welcome!  The lobby of the Deranged L.A. Crimes theater is open — a day late.We had to scrape gum off of the floor and throw away old popcorn boxes and soda cups. But the theater is open now, so find a seat and get comfortable. Tonight’s offering is KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE from 1950 starring James Cagney and Barbara Payton.

Turner Classic Movies says:

From the trial of the survivors, we flash back to amoral crook Ralph Cotter’s violent prison break, assisted by Holiday Carleton, sister of another prisoner…who doesn’t make it. Soon Ralph manipulates the grieving Holiday into his arms, and two crooked cops follow her into his pocket. Ralph’s total lack of scruple brings him great success in a series of robberies. But his easy conquest of gullible heiress Margaret Dobson proves more dangerous to him than any crime.

From Wikipedia:

James Cagney, directed by Gordon Douglas and based on the novel by Horace McCoy. The film was banned in Ohio as “a sordid, sadistic presentation of brutality and an extreme presentation of crime with explicit steps in commission.”

Sounds perfect to me! Enjoy the film!