See Madonna of the Desert (1948) C.
See Classic Movies of 1940's.
See The Moonbeam Drive-in Theater.
See Guns, Girls and Gangsters (195.
See Get Outta Town (1960) Film noi.
See Film Noir.
See Spoilers of the North (1947) P.
See 1940-early 1950.
See Gangsters, Killers & Thieves �.
See Noir Mystery, Crime, and Detec.
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This is quite a nice tiny film. Create no mistake, this is a weak budget B' from Republic. However the storyline and cast exceeded my expectations. Don Castle stars as the boy who possesses a valuable statue of Madonna, a statue that is suppose to bring luck to those who are real of heart. Castle has total faith in folks (and the statue) and regularly lends it out for unique happenings like a wedding, where the statue will bless the bride and groom with nice fortune.Sheldon Leonard plays the crook who wants to steal the priceless statue. His plan is to have a cohort arrive at Castle's home and take the true statue and leave a worthless fake. His cohort is a tough dame, played by Lynne Roberts. She comes to Castle's home, but circumstances arise and she starts to feel Castle's faith in boy and the statue, causing her to renege on her bargain with Leonard. Leonard doesn't take this very well and sets out with a fresh plan to snatch the statue and deal Roberts a blow for her double cross. This movie is no masterpiece, just a pleasant, well executed B' thriller for those who play such films.
In the late 1940's B studio Republic attempted few dramas with spiritual themes. "Angel in Exile" and "Angel on the Amazon" both had mystical heroines (Adele Mara and Vera Ralston) in exotic places. This Republic cheapie has other mystical heroine, but she's a jewel encrusted statue that somehow has the powers to protect anybody in danger while around it. Mobster Sheldon Leonard wants to receive his hands on it, and sends out his right hand boy Paul Hurst and cynical moll Lynne Roberts to receive their hands on it and replace it with a phony. A sudden accident has Roberts catching on fire while trying to snag it, but leaving her with no injury. Of course, she starts to have second thoughts which puts her at odds with Leonard while its owner (Don Castle) and protector (Don "Red" Barry) aide Roberts in stopping the theft. This is an interesting tiny B action film, part crime caper and part spiritual drama, showing nicely how Roberts reforms based on a sudden surge of faith. Like the two another Republic movies I mentioned, there's more than just a touch of "Song of Bernadette" in it. Leonard is nice as the heavy, plotting with no regrets and willing to kill. Roberts makes her hero very complex in the film's short running time, adding greatly to the film's impact.
I loved this type of morality which comes off with all its interesting turns quite naturally, as Lynne Roberts, dashingly beautiful, changes from a gangster bride to a madonna of the desert. It's all about a tiny statue, originally from Spain in the 1500s, which found its method to South America, where it ends up in a house in the Arizona desert with a fight veteran and his old man, where it becomes pretty to collectors. One of them is a hoodlum and a swindler and will receive it by any means, which is why he sends out Lynne Roberts for her. A copy is manufactured to arrange a switch, but the switch does not come off without complications, and of course they receive mixed up. Even the tiny madonna herself begins a drama complicating things, and everything runs out of control for everybody. Lynn Roberts succeeds ultimately in landing on her feet, and the entire mess reaches a very satisfactory end, in spite of all the shootings, vehicle accidents, fires, and so on. It's a gem of a tiny but very educating film.
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