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

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Eternal starlet: Adele Jergens
TREASURE OF MONTE CRISTO (1949). Director: William Berke.

Edmund Dantes (Glenn Langan) is a sailor just off a ship in San Francisco who encounters a sexy blonde named Jean Turner (Adele Jurgens). Jean tells Ed that she is an heiress, and she has escaped from a sanitarium where relatives who want control of her fortune are trying to lock her away. She offers Ed $10,000 if he'll agree to marry her -- which will supposedly prevent the bad guys from stealing her inheritance -- and he complies -- after all, Jean isn't exactly bad-looking. But after the marriage takes place Ed winds up accused of murder, and Jean is nowhere to be seen. When she is finally located, Jean Turner turns out to be an different woman entirely ... Treasure of Monte Cristo is an interesting, if minor, bit of film noir with an absorbing plot line (one angle prefigures a sequence in the later Homicidal). Langan [The Amazing Colossal Man] offers a good performance as a man in serious trouble, while Jergens [The Fuller Brush Man] is a cut below him as the femme fatale in question. Steve Brodie is notable as an associate of Jergens'. The title treasure figures in the convoluted story and the finale, although the movie isn't really about a treasure hunt. Albert Glasser contributed a typically brassy and effective score. Langan and Jergens were wed in real life two years after this film came out and had one of Hollywood's rare long-lasting marriages until his death forty years later.

Verdict: Attention-holding minor-league film noir with some good performances. **1/2 out of 4.

The Midnite Drive-In presents The Film Noir Blogathon. [I wouldn't necessarily consider Sunset Boulevard to be film noir, but it does have a handsome hero whose life is turned upside down by a woman, even if she's hardly a "hot" blonde!


angelman66 said...

This one looks good, you make it sound like it has a bit of a Maltese Falcon-type feel, since it's set in San Francisco. Must check this out.

I love how you call Adele Jergens the eternal starlet...she was beautiful and could act, but always a shady dame or a showgirl in B-movies like Ladies of the Chorus, in which she played the young Marilyn Monroe's MOTHER.

Need to check this one out, as I too love noir.

William said...

It's a minor but enjoyable flick. Many years ago an acquaintance of mine was a big fan of Jergens and we would talk about the movies we had seen her in, and he was the one who said, " no matter how old she got she was always a 'starlet,' never a star!"

Silver Screenings said...

This is a new film to me and sounds like one I'd like. Thanks for the introduction!

Hamlette (Rachel) said...

Intriguing! The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my absolute favorite novels, and a noir reimagining of it sounds right up my alley.

Caftan Woman said...

Of all the strange things, I knew Adele Jergens was married to Glenn Langan, but I never knew they appeared in a picture together. It may be minor in the grand scheme of things, but it is major on my gotta-check-it-out list now.

William said...

Many thanks for your comments!

Silver Screenings: glad to introduce you to a "new" movie.

Hamlette: Hope you enjoy the noir take on "Monte Cristo."

Caftan Woman: I believe Jergens and Langan did another film together besides "Monte Cristo," which was also noir, "The Big Chase," although I haven't seen it yet.

Again, thanks for your comments! Bill

Caftan Woman said...

Wow! Two more movies on my list. My cup runneth over.

Quiggy said...

The very concept of a duplicitous dame always intrigues me. I'm going to be busy trying to seek out movies over the next 6 months or so, I bet. Good review.

William said...

Thanks! I agree that "duplicitous dames" are always fun, especially when you've got the likes of Adele Jergens playing them. Best, Bill