EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|GUNS, GIRLS AND GANGSTERS (director: Edward L. Cahn; screenwriters: Robert E. Kent/story by Paul Gangelin & Jerry Sackheim; cinematographer: Kenneth Peach; editor: Fred Feitshans; music: Buddy Bregman; cast: Mamie Van Doren (Vi Victor), Gerald Mohr (Chuck Wheeler), Lee Van Cleef (Mike Bennett), Grant Richards (Joe Darren), Elaine Edwards (Ann Thomas), John Baer (Steve Thomas), Paul Fix (Lou Largo), Carlo Fiore (Tom Abbott), W. Beal Wong (Mr. Wong); Runtime: 70; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Robert E. Kent; U.A.; 1959)|
|"Noirish, fast-paced, sleazy,
violent and terrifically acted."
by Dennis Schwartz
exciting small-budget Imperial Film shot in
black-and-white about a botched Las Vegas heist. It's
a classic B-film by prolific low-budget director
Edward L. Cahn ("The She Creature"/"Voodoo Woman"/"It!
The Terror from Beyond Space"), that's noirish,
fast-paced, sleazy, violent and terrifically acted.
It's based on a story by Paul Gangelin & Jerry
Sackheim, and is cleverly written by Robert
bombshell Las Vegas nightclub singer
Vi Victor (Mamie Van Doren) is visited in her
dressing room by her trigger-happy volatile husband
Mike Bennett's (Lee
Van Cleef) former cellmate at San
Quentin, cocky tough guy bank robber Chuck Wheeler (Gerald
Mohr). Vi's nightclub is owned by the
racketeer Joe Darren (Grant Richards),
her current boyfriend, who is needed by Chuck to
launder the $2 million casino money estimated in the
take of the armored car robbery Chuck planned in jail
with Mike. Another ex-con from San Quentin, petty
criminal Lou Largo (Paul Fix) is
hired to rig a short-wave radio on
the armored car that regularly must check-in with
headquarters and can pick-up police signals.
easily rounds up his gang, but his carefully
worked-out plan gets upset when a raging Mike escapes
from jail after Vi tells him she wants a divorce and
he hears she's messing around with Joe. Though
promised by Chuck a cut in the robbery for just
staying in prison and serving out the three more
months of his sentence, the crazed Mike returns to LV
to discover it's not Joe but Chuck his unfaithful wife
is planning to run away with after the robbery, and
the cellmates become bitter rivals while Joe is
eliminated by Mike. But before they can settle matters
the rivals for Vi must work together on the precision-planned
robbery that involves shooting out the tire of the
armored car and forcing the guards to have the flat
fixed in the garage owned by the nearby Stage Coach
Inn owners (Elaine Edwards & John
Baer). While the repair work
takes place, Chuck and Mike kill the three guards and
take the armored car to Los Angeles where they plan to
launder the money through Joe's connection with the
shady warehouse owner Mr. Wong (W. Beal Wong).
But the perfect plan turns violently sour and the
principle hoods get gunned down in a shoot-out at the
garage with the police, with Vi arrested as an
REVIEWED ON 1/30/2013 GRADE: A-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ