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

Thursday, July 23, 2009

BUNCO SQUAD


BUNCO SQUAD (1950). Director: Herbert I. Leeds.

Detective Steve Johnson (Robert Sterling, who gives a good performance) goes after a gang of con artists who are running a cult called the Rama Society who hold seances for wealthy people. Their ultimate goal is to get in the will of very rich Mrs. Royce (Elisabeth Risdon) and then bump her off. Mrs. Royce comes to the society to hear the voice of her late son, who died in the war. Tony, the ruthless head of the gang, is played by a middle-aged Ricardo Cortez. Princess Lian, who fronts for the cult, is played by Bernadene Hayes. Like a well-heeled TV episode with a couple of exciting scenes.

Verdict: Professional, well-acted, and fast-moving if decidedly minor-league. **½.
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