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

Thursday, December 31, 2015


Stanley Clements and Myrna Dell
DESTINATION MURDER (1950). Director: Edward L. Cahn.

Jackie Wales (Stanley Clements) is hired by club owner and mob boss Armitage (Albert Dekker) to murder a man named Mansfield. His daughter Laura (Joyce Mackenzie) witnesses the hit, recognizes the shooter, and tries to get more on him for the police by working at Armitage's club as a cigarette girl. Meanwhile Wales thinks nothing of dating the daughter of the man he murdered in cold blood. Wales and Armitage's girlfriend, Alice (Myrna Dell), who actually has a hankering for the club manager Stretch Norton (Hurd Hatfield), have cooked up a very dangerous blackmail scheme. Destination Murder is a snappy and happily unpredictable B crime thriller that just misses being really special. There are good performances by Clements, Hatfield and Dekker [Middle of the Night]; John Dehner as a suspect and potential victim; James Flavin as the Inspector on the case; and especially Myrna Dell [The Lost Tribe] as the calculating and hard-hearted Alice. Dekker takes a belt to Clements' face at one point, and there are other interesting sequences. Hatfield of The Picture of Dorian Gray is quite effective as a gangster type.

Verdict: Absorbing crime thriller with some good and unexpected twists. *** out of 4.

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