Saturday, November 7, 2015

THE CROOKED WEB (1955)



Columbia Pictures released this Clover Production movie. The mid-20th century script illustrates the reality of what the future Internet will be like: not everything you see or read is true. What lies ahead (pun intended) is a carefully planned trap that has taken 10 years to co-ordinate. Calling the movie a “con” is an understatement as seemingly everyone from America to Germany, on sea and land, has their role to play, no matter how small, to capture sandpaper-voiced Frank Lovejoy for his decade-old crime. Joining Lovejoy is handsome Richard Denning along with Mari Blanchard (as the nation’s oldest carhop) in this tale of clever deception.



What movie the above poster is connected with is a mystery. There is no parlor or a negligee. We can assume the latter, but it’s not in this film. Lovejoy and Blanchard plan to wed and the audience is neatly strung along for thirty minutes until Denning shows up as her ne’er do well “brother,” establishing the crooked part. He has a scheme to unearth “buried treasure” left behind at the end of WW2, located within a current Army reservation. Just the amount of resources Lovejoy needs for a comfortable life in another country. Plenty of twists and deceptions to make this a pretty fun outing. As trained government agents, Denning’s cleverness and Blanchard’s attractiveness come into play numerous times to regain Lovejoy’s confidence and quell suspicions. Lovejoy comes off rather bland in this outing, to the point of almost being a bit dense. No great range of emotions. He never suspects anyone would spend a decade setting him up. Who would? He does fear a double-cross and at the last moment confesses to Blanchard of his past and seals his fate. Finding out who Blanchard really was offered no encouragement, either.

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