Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Netflix Movie of the Week review: VICE RAID (United Artists, 1960)

Nasty Brad Dexter lures starstruck small town girls into prostitution in Big Bad LA in Vice Raid, which comes with a smidgen of vice but no actual raid if by raid you mean cops swooping in to cart whores and johns to the slammer. This, after all, is 1959 and the word "prostitute" isn't uttered by anybody. But what else would you call Mamie van Doren, the least starstruck of the starstruck girls? Mamie, who has been around the block a couple of times, willingly sets a trap for incorruptible vice lieutenant Richard Coogan, only to turn right around and finger her boss, Dexter, when her truly naive sister (Carol Nugent) gets involved with the gang. It is that kind of film, full of innuendo and doomsday narration - Film Noir made for peanuts but directed by the capable Eddie Cahn and running smoothly to a foregone conclusion. Vice Raid was produced by veteran indie stalwart Edward Small and filmed at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.

Among the cast members is charming Juli Reding, a starlet extraordinaire of the period here opening the film as one of the aforementioned small town wannabes. And out-Mamieing the real deal in her few moments on screen.  


The leading man is Richard Coogan, one of those typical bloodless 1950s screen and television heroes who seemed to blend into the scenery. Mr. Coogan is still with us at this writing, only a few months away from turning 100.

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