Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Monday, September 29, 2008

JIGSAW aka GUN MOLL (1949)

JIGSAW (aka GUN MOLL/1949). Director: Fletcher Markle.

Howard Malloy (Franchot Tone) investigates a secret organization that appeals to people's racism in order to sell uniforms and other materials for profit. Charles Riggs (Myron McCormick) is a crusading reporter who detests racism and is out to expose the group no matter what. Angelo aka "The Angel" Agostini (Marc Lawrence) is a hood who gets sexy model Barbara Whitfield (Jean Wallace) to romance Malloy. Grace Hartley (Winnifred Lenihan) is a political widow and one of Malloy's mentors. There are interesting elements to the movie, but it never quite jells, and the most notable thing about the production is seeing famous guest stars doing cameos -- Marlene Dietrich walks out of a nightclub called The Blue Angel where Henry Fonda is a waiter! Seeing these two in such a cheapie production as this is a little bit surreal. Another plus: the ending is quite unexpected. The actors are at least professional.

Verdict: Okay but no cigar. **.

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