Close-Up (1948)

US / 75 minutes / bw / Marathon (A Harry Brandt Production) Dir: Jack Donohue Pr: Frank Satenstein Scr: John Bright, Max Wilk, Jack Donohue, Martin Rackin Story: James Poe Cine: William Miller Cast: Alan Baxter, Virginia Gilmore, Richard Kollmar, Loring Smith, Philip Huston, Joey Faye, Russell Collins, Michael Wyler, Marcia Walter, Sid Melton, Wendell Phillips, Erin O’Kelly (i.e., Erin Selwyn), Maurice Manson.

After newsreel photographer Phil Sparr (Baxter) and his sidekick Roger (Faye) shoot a fashion sequence outside the Fifth National Bank on NYC’s Madison Square, the film they’ve shot is suddenly in heavy demand. Criminal gang-leader Joe Gibbons (Huston), a one-time actor who had to switch professions because of his drinking, sends a courier to try to pilfer it; when the man fails, Gibbons beats him ruthlessly with his belt. Gibbons next sends his sidekick Beck (Collins) to beg for the film on the pretext that Phil captured Beck in the company of a floozy not his wife. Meanwhile, fresh-faced journalist Peggy Lane (Gilmore) from Snap magazine is attempting to interview Phil.

Close-Up 1948

Phil (Baxter) gives near-femme fatale Peggy (Gilmore) a cigarette as the cops prepare to take her away.

Phil’s boss Harry Avery (Smith), examining the relevant frames, realizes the reason people are after it has nothing to do with Beck or his floozy: Phil inadvertently captured the image of wanted Nazi war criminal Kurt “The Butcher” Bauer (Kollmar) leaving the bank. Continue reading