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Friday, July 18, 2008

ILLEGAL (1955)

Modest Edward G. Robinson vehicle, a remake of THE MOUTHPIECE/’32, about a tough D.A. who switches sides after convicting an innocent man on a murder rap. (StarTrekaphobes can enjoy watching DeForest Kelly walk to the electric chair.) He winds up as a big-time lawyer for the mob, but has to go straight when his favorite girl gets charged with Murder-One for shooting her husband in self-defence. If only Lewis Allen had shown a bit of swagger & style as megger since the script is reasonably shipshape and the cast is willing (Nina Foch, Hugh Marlowe, Ellen Corby & Jayne Mansfield in her debut). But everything here, even the great Eddie G., pales next to the 1932 original. Unavailable in any video format, THE MOUTHPIECE is only one of a dozen pre-Code titles with Warren William that are begging for release. Any takers?

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