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directed by William Beaudine
USA 1945

 

"A smart guy could clean up in a racket like this." So says Eddie Condon (Kane Richmond), a smooth-talking hood who sells unwanted babies to childless rich couples. Teaming up with a broken-down sawbones (Ralph Morgan) and a silver-tongued shyster (George Meeker), Condon operates a private maternity home where he rakes in the dough until a pre-paid baby is stillborn. Intent on keeping the cash, he hands over his sister-in-law's newborn instead, a baby-switching scheme that soon gives way to frame-ups, fallouts and murder. The type of film the majors would avoid lest it harm their mainstream reputation, Black Market Babies is a prime example of the controversial programmers only a B movie studio like Monogram Pictures could make. Based on a December 1944 Woman's Home Companion article that was reprinted in Reader's Digest, this searing drama is both cutting-edge and exploitative, a lurid exposť that's lost none of its power to shock.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 15 December 1945 (USA)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:10:57
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.65 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Keep Case

Chapters 8

 

Comments

Black Market Babies is a standard fare for a poverty row studio - a crime drama with some exploitation angle thrown in. Ralph Morgan stars as a likeable doctor getting tangled with a mob in a maternity clinic for unwanted babies. Some familiar faces from other Monogram programmers co-star - Kane Richmond (Don't Gamble with Strangers), Teala Loring (Wife Wanted), Maris Wrixon (Women in Bondage). The film is based on an article from Woman's Home Companion, reprinted later in Reader's Digest and was directed by a very prolific William Beaudine.

Warner Archive once again saves another title from a total obscurity. The print used for a transfer on this made-on-demand disc has some marks and damage, but is consistently in good shape. The mono audio is fine for this low-budget production. There are no extras available and film gets 8 chapters. A surprisingly enjoyable little picture that gets a very welcome release from Warner Archive. I'm excited to see what else they will uncover from the Monogram library.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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