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Saturday, February 19, 2011

ARMORED CAR ROBBERY (1950)


The title says it all in Richard Fleischer’s tolerable little noir which he made just before THE HAPPY TIME (a Stanley Kramer indie with literary leanings) and THE NARROW MARGIN (a true noir classic) bumped him up to A-list assignments. Charles McGraw, who would use his gruff voice & flat-footed demeanor to help camouflage the big plot twist in MARGIN, is too stiff & stoic to animate this more straightforward police-procedural, and the robbers are only slightly more lively. Lead baddie William Talman, best remembered for losing hundreds of cases to Raymond Burr’s Perry Mason, gets a few memorably nasty bits, but only Adele Jergens, a Virginia Mayo lookalike (if you squint real hard) playing a stripper with a heart of granite, comes up with something memorable. Think of it as CSI: Analogue.

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Try Robert Siodmak's CRISS-CROSS/'49 with Burt Lancaster for a 'noirish' armored car robbery pic from the day.

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