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

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Luana Patten and Ron Foster
THE MUSIC BOX KID (1960). Director: Edward L. Cahn.

"The crumbs are the easiest kind of guys to knock off."

In 1920s Bronx, Larry Shaw (Ron Foster) is so ambitious for the good life and money that he goes to work as an enforcer for mob boss Chesty Miller (Grant Richards of The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake). His wife, Margaret (Luana Patten), and priest (Dayton Lummis), are dismayed by the kinds of people who pay a call at their home, but Larry is so determined to "make good" that he becomes the head of Miller's murder-for-hire squad. Shaw then hits on the idea of kidnapping Miller and other hoodlums for ransom, making him the target of all the bad guys in the Bronx. The Music Box Kid, said to be inspired by the life of "Dutch" Schultz, would be a fairly standard crime drama were it not uplifted by a terrific lead performance from the talented Foster [Cage of Evil]. Handsome, gifted, and charismatic, Foster had some very good roles but in the wrong, minor movies; he also did a lot of TV work. The "music box" of the title is a tommy gun.

Verdict: Foster is the whole show. **1/2.

No comments: