|VIOLENCE (director: Jack Bernhard; screenwriter: Stanley Rubin/Lewis Lantz; cinematographer: Henry Sharp; editor: Jason Bernie; music: Edward J. Kay; cast: Nancy Coleman (Ann Mason/Ann Dwire), Michael O'Shea (Steve Fuller), Peter Whitney (Joker Robinson), Sheldon Leonard (Fred Stalk), Emory Parnell (True Dawson), Pierre Watkin (Ralph Borden), Carol Donne (Beth Taffel, Borden's Secretary), Cay Forester (Sally Donahue), William Gould (Mr. X), Frank Reicher (Pop - Elevator Operator / Apartment Concierge), John Hamilton (Doctor in Chicago), Richard Irving (Latimer - Protest Rally Orator), Jimmy Clark (Joe Donahue); Runtime: 72; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Bernard Brandt/Jack Bernhard; Warner Archive Collection (Monogram); 1947)|
|"With big holes in its drab and
by Dennis Schwartz
Bernhard ("Blonde Ice"/"Unknown
Island"/"Decoy") directs this propaganda crime drama
about a group of war veterans from WW II
who are victimized by a hate group spreading bigoted
discord while posing as a legit veteran's group. It's
written by Stanley Rubin and Lewis Lantz to
convey a message about the current unrest in
American society among many veterans who feel left
out of the current economic boom is justified if not
done for criminal reasons.
magazine journalist Ann Dwire (Nancy Coleman)
takes an undercover assignment as Ann Mason
to infiltrate the United Defenders, located
in LA, that pretends to be a patriotic organization
fighting for veteran rights but is comprised of thugs
and extortionists who are running a scam. The
group is headed by the murderer smoothy scam artist
True Dawson (Emory
Parnell), an oily fire-brand orator of hate, and
his cold-blooded enforcer Fred
Stalk (Sheldon Leonard) and
the aide-a simpleton hitman named Joker Robinson (Peter
Whitney). In reality they are a
Fascist front. They prey on disillusioned war
veterans and fill them with bigoted
filth and fear about their future, as they pretend to
work to get them jobs, houses or government benefits
while at the same time attacking the government,
unions and management.
Ann is told it's time to return to the magazine, she's
injured getting there while in a taxi crash and
selectively loses her memory. The undercover FBI agent
Steve Fuller (Michael O'Shea) who
was tailing her, then pretends to be engaged to her
and tries to convince her to get him a job at
UD. But she still only remembers working for UD
and returns to tell them about the FBI agent and his
plans to close them down. Even though Stalk is
romantically interested in his secretary Ann, he
agrees with Dawson to murder her and the agent, as the
thugs figure out that the UD has been infiltrated by
the law and the scam might be over.
physical violent part of the B film crime drama is reserved
for the climax, as a fight takes place in a
vacant lot between the UD haters and the loyal GIs.
also a strange scene that has the wife (Cay
Forester) of a missing veteran who works for UD
show up at the group's headquarters and finds
her hubby murdered by the UD goon Joker when he was
about to expose them as a dangerous organization.
most convenient scene has Ann regain her memory when
Stalk knocks her out.
both good acting and action sequences, but is sunk
with big holes in its drab and predictable
storytelling. It's still a decent minor film,
as it provides a necessary but unfortunately muddled
social commentary on the post-war rise of
anti-Semitism, racism and labor strife.
REVIEWED ON 9/7/2014 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ