Created by Mauri Grashin and Robert T. Shannon
This is part of the joy and sorrow of B-films. Tossed out with a wink and a prayer, a little bit of spit and a lot of gumption, you have moments of eyebrow-raising admiration slapped up against eyeball-rolling consternation.
In the 1942 boiler X MARKS THE SPOT, spiffy private eye and man-about-town EDDIE DELANEY (Damian O'Flynn) is all set to go off and do his patriotic duty for the war effort when he's detoured by his dear ol' da's murder. A kind-hearted old dear of an Irish cop (no annoying cliché is left unused), he's blasted away by some hoodlums when he stumbles upon some mysterious shenanigans going on at a loading dock. Determined to discover his father's killers, Eddie crosses paths with supposedly reformed bootlegger Marty Clark (Jack La Rue) whose sleazy nightclub, The Spot, is where much of the action takes place, and slick gangster John Underwood (Batman's Neil Hamilton) to solve the crime, but ends up counting on the help of pretty love interest Linda Ward (Helen Parrish), an operator for a city-wide, telephone-based jukebox system (I'd never heard of this -- you put a nickel and spoke to a live operator and she played your song). Preduictably enough, things get complicated, secret alliances are revealed and Eddie gets tangled in a nasty web of decption and deceit before he cracks the case and wins the girl.
It's not Chinatown; it's not even The Dark Corner, and it's probably more Franklin W. Dixon than Raymond Chandler, but it moves along briskly, and boasts some moderately effective moments, a relatively coherent plot, some nice period touches (stealing tires for the black market) and enough cheesy acting to keep you amused for most of its 53-minute run. and how can you resist a flick with a tagline like "BLACK MARKET CZAR!...Exchanging human lives for blood-soaked Profit!"
Call it "knucklehead noir" and serve with cold beer.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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