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

Thursday, July 7, 2016


Kane Richmond and Audrey Long
STAGE STRUCK (1948). Director: William  Nigh.

Benny Nordick (John Gallaudet of Docks of New Orleans) who runs a night club and a acting school racket, murders hopeful Helen Howard (Wanda McKay) because she knows too much about his sleazy operation. Nick Mantee (Kane Richmond) helps Nordick cover up the crime and becomes his partner. Ignoring the advice of Lt. Williams (Conrad Nagel of All That Heaven Allows) and his assistant Sgt. Ramey (Ralph Byrd), Helen's sister Nancy (Audrey Long)  takes it upon herself to go undercover at Nordick's school. Dodging persistent passes from Mantee and suspicious glances from Nordick, she tries to find out what she can. Stage Struck is a passable Monogram entry with an interesting cast, most of whom were down on their luck. Lt. Williams' reason for being tough with Helen after she learns of her sister's murder makes no sense, and his piousness gets a little tiresome as well. The leads are fine in this cheap production, and Anthony Warde, Pamela Drake and Evelyn Brent [Holt of the Secret Service] have smaller roles and are equally effective. I've no doubt that acting and modeling schools that are more interested in taking gullible people's money than helping their careers still exist in every major city. Richmond and Byrd, of course, were major serial heroes. Richmond amassed over 100 credits, but this was his last film; he retired from movies to work in the fashion industry. Byrd did a few more films and died rather young in 1952.

Verdict: Distinctive Nagel, Byrd and Richmond help put this over. **.


angelman66 said...

Never heard of this one, but from your review I sense I would enjoy it. We don't hear much about those Monogram Pictures these days! Bill, you should write the book!!

William said...

Be careful -- you may put thoughts in my head! Although I've probably sat through more Monogram movies that anyone ought to. Some of my friends frequently tell me "I've never heard of these movies!" No wonder!