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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Smart Money" )

 

directed by Richard L. Bare
USA 1949

 

Flaxy Martin preserves one of [Zachary Scott's] stronger starring performances, as a mob mouthpiece who finds himself in over his head. He's been balking at his shady job as a syndicate lawyer for a long time, but his girl (Virginia Mayo, who takes the title role) keeps urging him to stick with it until he assembles a nice nest egg. Unfortunately, she's really the moll of syndicate kingpin Douglas Kennedy, stringing Scott along to keep him quiescent. When a murder by one of Kennedy's goons threatens to implicate Mayo, Scott takes the rap, confident that he'll get himself off. He didn't count on being double-crossed. The plot traces his rude awakening and plans for payback.

The movie mixes a lot of tight, hard scenes with some soft and sappy ones; the redemptive sub-plot with, as Scott's new love interest, Dorothy Malone (wasted yet again as a good girl) proves flat and superfluous. Mayo, along with Scott, has one of her better parts; she might have been one of the noir cycle's more memorable femme fatales had her acting skills been on a par with her pouty blonde looks. And Elisha Cook, Jr. contributes another turn as a bantam rooster barely bigger than his gun.

Excerpt of review from Bill McVicar for imdb.com located HERE

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Theatrical Release: 15 February 1949 (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 1:26:12
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.38 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 2.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� Theatrical trailer (1:55)

DVD Release Date: October 13th, 2015
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Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

There are only a few dames that lent their full name to a film noir title - Mildred Pierce being the most acclaimed. There were also Nora Prentis, Thelma Jordon, Martha Ivers, Julia Ross and this notorious femme fatale named Flaxy Martin, played with a great aplomb by Virginia Mayo. Unfortunately, her time on screen is limited to just a few scenes in the beginning and in the end - the main protagonist is played by Zachary Scott. He is a mob lawyer who was duped by Flaxy to take a murder charge he thinks was committed by her. He assumes he can outsmart the system by pleading self-defense, but gets sentenced and eventually escapes from custody - you need to check common sense at the door to fully enjoy the film. Elisha Cook, Jr., as a thug hunting him down, is excellent as usual and Dorothy Malone gets a thankless good girl role as a love interest for Zachary Scott.

Warner Archive released this minor noir on single-layered made-on-demand disc in October 2015. The progressive transfer looks fine, with some damage but overall mostly good contrast. One scene stood out when contrast is off - in the car, when Elisha Cook, Jr took Scott and Malone hostages - but then it stabilizes. The mono soundtrack is decent, with no damage, and musical score by William Lava, mostly remembered for Looney Tunes soundtracks, is clear with no damage. A theatrical trailer is included as an extra and the film is divided into 12 chapters. It's definitely not a must own classic, but fun ride nonetheless and a good release by Warner Archive.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 



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