|A GENTLEMAN AFTER DARK (HELIOTROPE HARRY) (director: Edward L. Marin; screenwriter: story "A Whiff of Heliotrope" by Richard Washburn Child/Patterson McNutt/George Bruce; cinematographer: Milton R. Krasner ; editor: Arthur Roberts; music: Dimitri Tiomkin; cast: Brian Donlevy (Harry Melton), Miriam Hopkins (Flo Melton), Preston Foster (Tom Gaynor), Sharon Douglas (Diana), Harold Huber (Stubby), Phillip Reed (Eddie Smith), Douglass Dumbrille (Enzo Calibra), William Henry (Paul Rutherford); Runtime: 77; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Edward Small; United Artists; 1942)|
|"The outdated pic has outlived
its shelf life."
by Dennis Schwartz
low-budget melodrama was filmed before as Heliotrope
(1920) with Fred Burton, and again in 1928 as
Forgotten Faces with Clive Brook, and again in 1936 as
Forgotten Faces with Herbert Marshall.
Edward L. Marin ("Johnny
Angel"/"Nocturne"/"Invisible Agent") directs in a
pedestrian manner. It's based on the story "A
Whiff of Heliotrope" by Richard Washburn Child.
Patterson McNutt and George Bruce write
the smelly screenplay.
1923, the notorious dapper jewel thief, always wearing
a flower in his lapel, Harry "Heliotrope"
Melton (Brian Donlevy), wishes to move to the country
and to go straight because he's a father for the first
time. But his criminal wife Flo (Miriam
Hopkins) and his partner Eddie Smith (Phillip Reed)
talk him into pulling one last jewel heist of a
socialite. Afterwards the two untrustworthy
partners try to frame Harry for it, but he outsmarts
them by hiding the jewels.
Harry catches Eddie and his wife kissing, he plugs him
and warns his wife to stay away from their daughter
Diana (Sharon Douglas).
He also surrenders to his police captain detective
friend, Tom Gaynor (Preston Foster), and
turns over the stolen jewels. Gaynor agrees to take
custody of his baby daughter so she can have a good
upbringing. When baby Diana is grown up and getting
married, Gaynor is now an important state judge. Flo
decides to blackmail Gaynor by threatening to reveal
Diana's parents were criminals. Learning of Flo's
scheme from a jailhouse visit by his pal Stubby (Harold
Huber), Harry escapes from prison. When Harry
finds Flo and her new partner Calibra (Douglass
Dumbrille), they both get killed while
trying to tangle with him.
outdated pic has outlived its shelf life.
REVIEWED ON 8/17/2015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ