HEAVEN WITH A BARBED WIRE FENCE 1939

image    This little 62 minute film is worth watching if only for the film debuts of Glenn Ford and Richard Conte (here as Nicholas Conte), both showing the promise of acting ability that would give them long careers in Hollywood.

Writer Dalton Trumbo and director Ricardo Cortez tell the story of a young trio led by Ford who has bought a 20 acre farm in Arizona and is hitchhiking from New York . He meets up with a  hobo, Conte and Jean Rogers (who is an illegal immigrant from Spain with a peculiar way of speaking and no accent!). They join him on his journey and they meet up with Raymond Walburn and Marjorie Rambeau along the way.

It’s not much of a story but worth seeing for the young Glenn Ford and Richard Conte.The evocative title deserved a stronger plot.

imageTOO LATE FOR TEARS  1949

Arthur Kennedy has the right idea in Too Late For Tears when Lizabeth Scott says they should keep the bag of money which has literally fallen into their laps. He says to her, “It’s a blind alley with a big barbed gate at the end.”

Kennedy’s character doesn’t realise that Scott (who plays his wife) will do anything (including murder) to keep the money.

But he tries to do the right thing- “We’ve got as much right to that money as if we’d gone into a bank and lifted a bagful off the counter.” He believes her when she says,”Please help me hide it.If you don’t think we should touch it, we wont.”

Of course she doesn’t mean it. She even gets the better of Dan Duryea for whom the money was a blackmail payment. He ends up saying, “I think probably some day you’ll kill me.” (and she does!)

Don De Fore and Kristine Miller also feature.

This is Lizabeth Scott’s film ands she does a great job as the femme fatale from hell! My only quibble, why did her character ever marry the Arthur Kennedy character – he obviously doesn’t have much money.

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REVENUE AGENT (1950) :

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The best part of Revenue Agent is the first 10 minutes   in which accountant Gus King (Lyle Talbot) comes home late and accuses his wife,Marge (Jean Willes) of having an affair with his boss Sam Bellows (Onslow Stevens). She snarls at him, “What’s with the 3rd degree all of a sudden?” He replies, “Just tell your boyfriend visiting hours are kept by hospitals and prisons and unless he wants to wind up in one of them,he’d better find some other place to hang his hat.”

Marge doesn’t pull any punches, “Try and get this through your head,Gus.You and I are through.It’s been over for years,so don’t tell me what I’m gonna do.”

Jean Willes

Jean Willes

Gus leaves the apartment and Marge makes a phone call. Gus decides to call Inland Revenue and let them know how his boss has been shipping gold from his mine secretly to Mexico to avoid taxes.

Poor Gus had planned to meet the Revenue agent (Douglas Kennedy) the next day to tell the whole story and name names. But he is murdered.

The film then loses steam as Jean Willes is side-lined and Douglas Kennedy tries to uncover the truth. I like Kennedy and it was nice to see him in the lead. Director Lew Landers did what he could with a lack-lustre script.

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Lyle Talbot

Douglas Kennedy

Douglas Kennedy

2 responses »

  1. Great triple bill Vienna.
    REVENUE AGENT right up my street,super B Movie cast.
    I think Sam Katzman cast Kennedy in the lead in a few of his
    little epics,though I guess that he is best know as a Western
    “bad guy”I like him a lot too;great support player.

  2. Kennedy had a long career form the 1930s on and played a range of characters in dramas and westerns. He had a small but good part as Eve Arden’s ex- husband in The Unfaithful.

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