Movies on the Big Screen as They Were Meant To Be Seen.
I WAS A SHOPLIFTER
Dir: Charles Lamont
Cop Scott Brady agrees to go undercover to shadow shoplifter Mona Freeman, a judge’s daughter who has been coerced into working for a robbery ring run by the always entertaining Andrea King (SOUTHSIDE 1-1000). Her sinister sidekick is a looker named Pepe, played by 25-year-old Tony Curtis. Also keep your eyes peeled for noir tough guy Charles McGraw and a young Rock Hudson.
Frank Sinatra stars as a hot-tempered singer (imagine that!) who is kept afloat by his buddy-pianist (Alex Nicol) and a heart-of-gold chanteuse (Shelley Winters). Complications ensue when gangster Raymond Burr enters the picture with an eye for both Shelley and Sinatra’s salary. Produced after Frank’s bobby-soxer era fame faded and prior to his mega-stardom in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953), this noir-stained musical is one of “Ol’ Blue Eyes’” most overlooked and underappreciated movies. A NOIR CITY nod to Sinatra’s centenary.
Tony Curtis delivers a knockout performance as a deaf boxer who looks to be easy pickings for a mercenary blonde (Jan Sterling) while a compassionate reporter (Mona Freeman) tries to prevent him from being counted out for good. Bernard Gordon’s crisp script and a solid supporting cast (including the debut of Harry Guardino) bolsters Curtis’ early starring turn.