The True Story of Lynn Stuart (1958)

vt The Grasshopper; vt The Other Life of Lynn Stuart
US / 78 minutes / bw / Columbia Dir: Lewis Seiler Pr: Bryan Foy Scr: John H. Kneubuhl Story: newspaper articles by Pat Michaels Cine: Burnett Guffey Cast: Betsy Palmer, Jack Lord, Barry Atwater, Edmund G. Brown, Kim Spalding, Karl Lukas, Casey Walters, Harry Jackson, Claudia Bryar, John Anderson, Rita Duncan, Lee Farr, Louis Towers, Carter James Maloney, Carlos Romero, Artie Lewis, Gavin MacLeod, Madeline O’Donnell, Betsy Jones Moreland, Than Wyenn, Snub Pollard.

Despite the title, and despite the claims in the opening address delivered by California’s Attorney General at the time, Edmund G. Brown, this movie is at best loosely based on reality. There really was a woman who, under the moniker “Lynn Stuart,” infiltrated California’s narcotics gangs, but most of the details of the story have been changed for the purposes of the screen. Contrary to what you might expect, the real-life “Lynn Stuart,” who served as a consultant during the making of this movie, was actually far braver and more dogged than her fictional counterpart: she risked her life as a police informant among the gangsters for six long years.

Betsy Palmer as Phyllis/”Lynn”

When the teenage son of Nora (Bryar) dies in a drug-related incident, Nora’s sister, Phyllis Carter (Palmer), is spurred into offering her services to the Santa Ana PD as an undercover agent to bring down the drug gangs—or some of the gangsters, at least. At first Lieutenant Jim Hagan (Atwater) and his sidekicks treat the offer as a joke; Continue reading

Crime Patrol, The (1936)

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To box in the ring or to bag criminals? A simple Joe must choose!
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US / 59 minutes / bw / Mayfair, Empire Dir: Eugene Cummings Pr: Harry S. Knight Scr: Betty Burbridge Story: Arthur T. Horman Cine: Bert Longenecker Cast: Ray Walker, Geneva Mitchell, Herbert Corthell, Hooper Atchley, Wilbur Mack, Russ Clark, Max Wagner, Virginia True Boardman, Henry Roquemore, Snub Pollard, Kernan Cripps.

crime-patrol-2-bob-in-the-ring

Bob Neal (Walker) is an up-and-coming boxer who, despite being the genial type and fundamentally honest, sees no harm in hanging out with some pretty nasty lowlifes. One of these, Vic Santell (Mack), tells him he must throw his next fight, against a cop called Morley (uncredited), in the fourth round. Although it goes against the grain, Bob does his best to obey, but mistimes his “knockout” so that he’s saved by the bell for the end of the round. In the fifth, Morley taunts him and Bob, his dander up, delivers a knockout blow that Continue reading

Bars of Hate (1935)

US / 57 minutes / bw / Victory Dir: Al Herman Pr: Sam Katzman Scr: Al Martin Story: “Vengeance of the Lord” (n.d.) by Peter B. Kyne Cine: Bill Hyer Cast: Regis Toomey, Sheila Terry, Molly O’Day, Snub Pollard, Robert Warwick, Fuzzy Knight, Gordon Griffith, Arthur Loft, John Elliott, Jack Cowell.

Bars of Hate - 0 opener

Deputy DA Ted Clark (Toomey) is out speeding in his car one day when he half-inadvertently rescues pickpocket Danny (Pollard), who, having been caught in the act of stealing a woman’s purse, is in the process of receiving summary justice from some passers-by. Ted concludes that Danny is “both a crook and a regular guy” and decides to give him a break. When they go to give back the purse to its owner, Ann Dawson (Terry), they discover she’s being pursued by the goons of gangster Jim Grant (Griffith). Grant killed a woman called Jane Francis—who had dumped him for Ann’s brother Bruce—and then framed Bruce for the crime. Bruce is now within 48 hours of execution. The reason the goons want Ann’s purse is that Continue reading