Sensation Hunters (1945)

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The price of rebellion!
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vt Club Paradise
US / 62 minutes / bw / Monogram, Associated Artists Dir: Christy Cabanne Pr: Joseph Kaufman Scr: Dennis Cooper Story: John Faxon Cine: Ira Morgan Cast: Robert Lowery, Doris Merrick, Eddie Quillan, Constance Worth, Isabel Jewell, Wanda McKay, Nestor Paiva, Byron Foulger, Vince Barnett, Minerva Urecal, Janet Shaw, Maurice Murphy, Billy Nelson, John Hamilton, The Rubenettes, The Johnson Brothers.

Every now and then Poverty Row studio Monogram got it just right and produced a splendid minor noir, and this was one of those times. Despite the coincidence of title, it bears no relation to the earlier Sensation Hunters (1933) dir Charles Vidor, with Arline Judge, Marion Burns and Preston Foster, a far inferior movie that I plan to cover here next week.

In the opening moments we see a man arrive at a darkened frontage and ring the doorbell. A negligée-clad woman appears at a balcony overhead, and summons him upstairs. Moments later, three shots ring out . . .

The rest of the movie is one long flashback leading us up to this scene. We’re soon pretty sure who the woman was (will be?), but who was the man? And who shot whom? And why? Continue reading

Heartaches (1947)

Here’s a very shy contribution to this splendid endeavor:

US / 71 minutes / bw / PRC Dir: Basil Wrangell Pr: Marvin D. Stahl Scr: George Bricker Story: Monty F. Collins, Julian I. Peyser Cine: Jack Greenhalgh Cast: Sheila Ryan, Edward Norris, Chill Wills, Kenneth Farrell, James Seay, Frank Orth, Chili Williams, Al LaRue, Charles Mitchell, Phyllis Planchard, Ann Staunton, Arthur Space, Keefe Brasselle, Edward Earle, Terry Moore, Minerva Urecal, Mack Williams.

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Vic Morton (Farrell) is the latest singing sensation to come to Hollywood, having signed a contract with Majestic Studios. In a very interesting opening sequence to this movie, we’re shown, after a brief account of Hollywood, the trailer for Vic’s first movie, also called Heartaches, as supposedly projected inside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. He sings the popular 1931 title song (music by Al Hoffman, lyrics by John Klenner) while languidly romancing an unnamed blonde (Moore).

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Cut to a while later. Heartaches has been a big success and Majestic is pushing ahead with Vic’s next vehicle, Broadway Ballad. We discover almost immediately a carefully guarded secret: Vic can’t sing. That mellifluous tenor voice emanates from his regular accompanist, songwriter and old band friend, the homely-faced “Bogey” Mann (Wills), with the handsome Vic merely lip-synching. The pair are rehearsing in the company of publicist Toni Wentworth (Ryan) when the secret is almost blown wide open: into the Continue reading