Friday, August 05, 2005

Dance Hall Racket (1953)

Amateurish B-movie about a dance hall (ask your grandpa) that serves as a front for smuggling, murder and bad acting. Phil Tucker's nailed-to-the-floor direction does no favors for the cliche plot. What it does have that makes it a sight better than most other amateurish B-movies of the period is Lenny Bruce. Bruce shows up in a supporting role, and he ably demonstrates that had he not gone the comedy route, he may have one day developed into a first-rate character actor a la Richard Widmark. Bruce also penned the screenplay (on a cocktail napkin, I'd bet), and while it's most certainly junk, Bruce managed to give it a seedy air that feels lived-in rather than affected. It's crappy but harmless and kinda fun if you're into this sort of thing. You may have noticed that I am into this sort of thing. (You may have also noticed that I am not wearing any trousers.)

Grade: C+


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