Friday, October 21, 2011
Suzi Crandall (Mark of the Lash)
Let me put it this way: Mark of the Lash (1948), from producer Ron Ormond's Western Adventures series, is so poverty stricken that the Boss Villain is played by Marshall Reed, usually found as third henchman through the door. Ormond filmed at the Jack Ingram ranch off of Mulholland in Calabasas, and you can only laugh when hero Lash La Rue promises sidekick "Fuzzy" St. John that he will find him in town and don't you worry. Find him? The ramshackle Ingram Western town has but five or six buildings. Of course he'll find him! If nowhere else then in Mr. Reed's downmarket saloon. He also finds Suzi Crandall (who had replaced Western regular Peggy Stewart) and her rancher brother, Jimmie Martin, victims of said Marshall Reed, she a pretty blonde and as fine a little B-Western actress as any, he, well, let's just say that Jimmie hadn't learned much from high school plays. Happily, as in all the Lash La Rues, PRC or Ron Ormond, Al "Fuzzy" St. John soon takes center stage and all is well with the Western world. Especially when he attempts to roll a cigarette with one hand only to loose all the tobacca!
Miss Chicago 1942, Suzi Crandall is remembered today, if remembered at all, for some RKO comedy shorts she did with rubber-legged Leon Errol and for co-starring in her own series (with Robert Neil), “The Newlyweds.” Off-screen, she was briefly linked with male starlet Tom Drake, but gossip maven Louella Parsons didn't take the romance serious. Nor should she have considering that Drake was almost certainly gay. She also dated George Raft (who certainly wasn't gay) before reportedly marrying an airfield operator. She later taught modelling.