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

Thursday, September 24, 2009

NO QUESTIONS ASKED


NO QUESTIONS ASKED (1951). Director: Harold F. Kress.

"Take her down to the boiler room. No one will hear her down there."

When lawyer Steve Kiever's (Barry Sullivan) girlfriend Ellen (Arlene Dahl) dumps him for a wealthier guy, he determines to make as much money as possible by becoming a go-between for crooks with stolen goods and the insurance companies who want the goods back at reduced prices -- all for a generous fee. George Murphy and Richard Anderson are the cops who have contempt for Kiever because, while what he's doing isn't illegal, they think it's unethical and immoral. Meanwhile Kiever's new girlfriend, Joan (Jean Hagen), is also troubled by the company Kiever keeps. Scripted by Sidney Sheldon, this lively crime thriller has some unexpected plot twists and interesting scenes, such as a hold up in a theater's ladies room by two gunsels in drag (one of whom is William Reynolds). Joan is aware that Steve is still carrying a torch for Ellen, and stares at her bleakly when she spots her in the ladies room. When Ellen asks Joan if she's finished, Joan says "Probably." Sullivan is in command throughout the movie, Dahl plays the duplicitous sex pot as well as ever, and Jean Hagen nearly walks off with the picture. George Murphy is George Murphy but Anderson makes more of an impression. Mari Blanchard has a notable cameo as sexy Natalie.

Verdict: More entertaining than it has any right to be. ***.

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