Wednesday, November 02, 2016

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! BUNCO SQUAD starring Robert Sterling, Ricardo Cortez and Douglas Fowley (1950)

Nice li'l late-night cheapie here that looks like it was made on a scaled down budget worthy of your class trip to Cash Market. Of course that's one thing that always appeals to this kinda kiddoid who grew up on these kinda television time fillers 'stead of the PBS moosh I'm sure most of you were force fed by your progressive parents. Am I right, you insufficient SJW mouth breather you????

Robert Sterling plays wholesome bunco cop Steve Johnson, who with sidekick Douglas Fowley and galpal Joan Dixon set out to stop an amalgamation of fortune tellers and other soothsayers (led by faded handsome leading man and eventual perennial badski Ricardo Cortez) from swindling an old lady outta her fortune by convincing her that her late son has been contacted in the afterlife via Princess Liane, who ain't no Valda Hansen in NIGHT OF THE GHOULS but so what!

I've been big on these kinda flickers ever since I was able to put the tee-vee on all by myself, and I gotta admit that these post-WW II early-fifties kinda films have an interesting sublime intensity to 'em. It's the same intensity that those early ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN with Phyllis Coates as Lois episodes had, y'know---the ones with the gas attacks and the dead dog and stuff you never would have seen in any of the later more comic book-oriented (if still apex) episodes. There's lotsa action galore too with three count 'em severed breaks on cars situations with those great swerve scenes as the car travels down one of those typical wavy b-film roads. You can bet that you're gonna get your money's worth had you caught this one on tee-vee some time in 1962...I mean, how much did it cost to run a set back then???

Sterling plays it cool yet tough as the dick out to get to the head of the big racket, and thankfully men haven't been emasculated to the point of mewl then like they are now (these days the role would be made for a "self sufficient woman" type, something I think is an oxymoron of the most moronic type). Fowley's of course boss as Sterling's fellow detective (strange seeing him on the good side of the law especially after that great ABBOT AND COSTELLO episode where he cons the two into robbing a bank for him!) and Dixon as Sterling's actress love interest is as good as these leading b-film gals can many of the women of the screen you kinda get the impression that she was a real innocent flower of a femme, though I guess the reality of the situation is a good 180 spin as it is with many of these wholesome-looking actresses of the past. Just ask Don Fellman.

Oh, and speaking of SUPERMAN like we were, don't blink or you'll miss a brief appearance by John Hamilton a.k.a. to you Perry White as a lawyer!

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