Thursday, November 3, 2016

Abandoned (1949) Black Market Babies

Directed by  Joseph M. Newman (711 Ocean Drive (1950), Dangerous Crossing (1953), The Twilight Zone (TV Series)). Written by Irwin Gielgud (original screenplay), and William Bowers (additional dialogue). Cinematography by William H. Daniels (Brute Force (1947), Lured (1947), The Naked City (1948), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958).

The film Stars Dennis O'Keefe (The Leopard Man (1943), T-Men (1947), Raw Deal (1948), Walk a Crooked Mile (1948), Woman on the Run (1950)), Gale Storm (My Little Margie (TV Series)), Marjorie Rambeau, Raymond Burr (twelve classic Film Noir), Will Kuluva, Jeff Chandler (Johnny O'Clock (1947), Female on the Beach (1955), The Tattered Dress (1957), ), Meg Randall (Criss Cross (1949)), Jeanette Nolan (The Big Heat (1953), and Mike Mazurki (Murder, My Sweet (1944), Nightmare Alley (1947), I Walk Alone (1948), Night and the City (1950)).

Paula (Storm) lt. Mark (O'Keef)
Moving along at a good pace Abandoned makes use of numerous Los Angeles' locations. The iconic LA City Hall looms ominously. A young woman Paula Considine (Storm) arrives at the Missing Persons Detail in search of her missing older sister and her baby. There she meets reporter Mark Sitko (O'Keefe) who takes it upon himself to assist her, it doesn't hurt that she is cute. Stiko spots a man tailing her who turns out to be a PI named Kerric (Burr).

P.I. Kerric (Burr)
When Paula and Mark check the morgue's Jane Doe's they find her sister but not the baby. Through various channels, old newspaper articles and various tips they discover a black market baby racket that is protected by the mob.

Mark (O'Keef), Paul (Storm), Kerric (Burr)
Their next stop is the "Sally Ann" the Salvation Army where they discover that her sister was there, and after talking to one of her acquaintances discover that she hooked up with a woman who promised that she would find a home for her baby. Going to the district attorney they get the assistance of Chief MacRae (Chandler).

Marjorie Rambeau

Will Kuluva


O'keefe & Chandler

Gale Storm is quite adequate as the girl from Beaver Brook searching for her sister. Dennis O'Keefe, comes off as your typical Film Noir hero. Chandler is good but underused as the D. A. Baby racket head, Marjorie Rambeau will remind you of Margaret Dumont. Will Kuluva, is mobster Little Guy Decola who bestows protection to the scheme with Mike Mazurki his enforcer. Raymond Burr, is in his trademark "heavy" role as a sleazy private dick, but it's interesting to note the Mazurki is even bigger than Burr.

Its an entertaining film especially if you are not expecting much, there is a restored version out there an acquaintance claims to have seen a gorgeous restoration of Abandoned at the Palm Springs film noir festival a couple of years ago. What's holding up it's distribution? The screencaps are from a multigenerational avi file. 6.5-7/10.

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