Island of Doomed Men (1940)

US / 67 minutes / bw / Columbia Dir: Charles Barton Pr: Wallace MacDonald Scr: Robert D. Andrews Cine: Benjamin Kline Cast: Peter Lorre, Rochelle Hudson, Robert Wilcox, Don Beddoe, George E. Stone, Kenneth MacDonald, Charles Middleton, Stanley Brown, Earl Gunn, Addison Richards, Sam Ash, Eddie Laughton, John Tyrrell.

Stephen Danel (Lorre) has devised a wizard scheme for making money: he sponsors convicts for parole, then ships them to an island he owns, Dead Man’s Island, where he works them to death mining diamonds, secure in the knowledge they can’t escape. There on the island, too, behind the electrified fence of his compound, is his lovely wife Lorraine (Hudson), who married him for security, realized too late her mistake and, now as much a prisoner as any of the paroled cons, hates his guts.

Peter Lorre as Stephen Danel.

Newly recruited DoJ agent Mark Sheldon (Wilcox), allotted the number 64, is being briefed on Danel’s doings by his assigned “opposite number,” Jackson, Agent #46, when a shot rings out from the fire escape of Jackson’s office and Jackson falls. He has just enough time to tell Mark it’s Continue reading

Tarnished (1950)

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The war between small-town hypocrisy and a reformed sinner’s integrity!
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US / 64 minutes / bw / Republic Dir: Harry Keller Scr: John K. Butler Story: Turn Home (1945) by Eleanor R. Mayo Cine: John MacBurnie Cast: Dorothy Patrick, Arthur Franz, Barbra Fuller, James Lydon, Harry Shannon, Don Beddoe, Byron Barr, Alex Gerry, Hal Price, Stephen Chase, Esther Somers, Paul E. Burns, Ethel Wales, Michael Vallon, Everett Glass.

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On their way home to the small town of Harbor, Maine, after a night out, the dangerous driving of Joe Pettigrew (Barr) terrifies his girlfriend, Lou Jellison (Patrick). Once they’ve lost a pursuing speed cop, she seizes the keys and insists on driving the rest of the way. During the changeover a hitchhiker, Bud Dolliver (Franz), begs a lift.

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Joe (Byron Barr) appalls Lou (Dorothy Patrick) with his crazy driving.

Bud has been absent from Harbor for seven years, seven years during which the locals have assumed he was in jail—after all, he’d been a wild one before his departure. Just about no one wants him back, a major exception being his old girlfriend Nina (Fuller). He encounters Nina at Barron’s Beer Parlor in town, and she immediately dumps her escort, Junior Bunker (Lydon), in favor of Bud; she makes it absolutely clear she’d like it if she and Bud could pick up where they left off, and Continue reading