Crime / Drama / Film-Noir / Romance
Crime / Drama / Film-Noir / Romance
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George McAllister, the black sheep of a wealthy family who has squandered his share of the family inheritance, and lives in constant jealousy, hatred and resentment of his half-brother Barry, who has been supporting him. George gets his girl friend, Carlotta Duval, a job as Barry's nurse with the plan of eventually marrying him. She does, but instead of going ahead with the original plan or getting rid of Barry, inheriting his money and marrying George, she finds that she is really in love with Barry. —Les Adams.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Aug 15, 2021 at 06:30 PM
- Bess Flowers as Hotel lobby visitor
- Chuck Roberson as Policeman
- Jeff Corey as Stranger
- Victor Sen Yung as Chang
grade Movie Reviews
Underrated little film noir
John H Auer was a major director at Republic Pictures and gave some good films, with the major star of the studio, John Carroll, who also served under Allan Dwann's direction. In this film noir, he is not brilliant but good enough to face Broderick Crawford, whom I did not expect in a Republic film. A classic story for a film noir, with a tepid Vera Ralston performance. Only the ending is very interesting, dark, gloomy and reminds me the end of LE DOULOS, from film maker Jean-Pierre Melville.
Blackmailing the blackmailer.
"The Flame" stars John Carroll, a second-tier actor who made a living mostly playing sleazy or cocky guys. In many ways, he's Republic studio's answer to Dan Duryea. In the second lead is Vera Ralston, the girlfriend of the head of the studio that made the picture. While her Czech accent was problematic, she was pretty good in this movie...although she has a reputation as a terrible actress who only got to where she did because of her connections. Regardless, she's good in this picture.The story begins with George (John Carroll) shooting someone to death. In the process, he himself is shot. Soon, he phones the police to report the killing...and then the film goes into flashback mode where it stays most of the picture. Oddly, occasionally the viewpoint changes from his to his ex-girlfriend (Ralston)...something that seems sloppy when they both address the camera. In other words, is it his story to tell or hers? Regardless, the tale is about blackmail and it's an odd case where another blackmailer discovers the blackmail and begins to blackmail the original blackmailer! What exactly is going on here? Watch the film.Despite the changing narration and Ralston's odd accent (she's supposed to be French...but just sounds Czech), the plot is quite engaging and the film is very well written considering it comes from Republic...a studio mostly known for B-movies...and mostly with cowboys. It is a very unique film...one that is excellent for folks who want to see something gritty and different.By the way, although Victor Sen Yung was not a big-time actor, mostly assigned to secondary roles such as playing sons for Charlie Chan, here he really showed his talents in a scene late in the movie. A tiny scene...but an amazingly well acted one.
mainly routine melodrama
"The Flame" is a dark but disappointingly routine melodrama of the seen-it-a-million-times-before variety. A French nurse, in cahoots with her sleazy American lover, agrees to marry his ailing half-brother in order to gain his wealth. Guess what -- she begins to fall for the bore (who whiles away the hours playing dirges on his Hammond organ).John Auer was one of the more talented directors working in the B-movie mill of the 40s, and he injects the picture with enough visual panache to give it a professional veneer and subtle moodiness. But what can you do with this cast from hell -- particularly Vera Ralston, at her most wooden (her voice-over narration is practically indecipherable).A couple of reels into the film, things briefly perk up when a young Broderick Crawford unexpectedly slides into the narrative as a dour potential blackmailer who gets wise to the scam. Even better, his sometime girlfriend is a sexy cabaret performer played by the always fascinating Constance Dowling -- her Gilda-style song and dance routine gives Auer a chance to show his licks. But the brittleness all dissolves pretty quickly into some very unwelcome sentimentality towards the end.
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