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Big Town After Dark
Big Town After Dark
Actors: Phillip Reed, Hillary Brooke, Richard Travis, Ann Gillis, Vince Barnett
Director: William C. Thomas
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2005     1hr 9min


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Movie Details

Actors: Phillip Reed, Hillary Brooke, Richard Travis, Ann Gillis, Vince Barnett
Director: William C. Thomas
Creators: Ellis W. Carter, William C. Thomas, Howard A. Smith, William H. Pine, Daniel Mainwaring, Maxwell Shane, Whitman Chambers
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Alpha Video
Format: DVD - Black and White - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 03/29/2005
Original Release Date: 12/12/1947
Theatrical Release Date: 12/12/1947
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 9min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Successful Formula As Before, Sharply Scripted.
rsoonsa | Lake Isabella, California | 11/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Big Town", a shallowly disguised New York City, is of importance in a number of modes for popular United States culture, initially being a radio programme from 1937 until 1962, then on to television episodes, 1952/1956, and eventually as a comic book series, 1956/1958, with the protagonist in each manifestation being Steve Wilson, originally a reporter working for the Big Town Illustrated Press, later becoming its editor-in-chief, and played in this, the third of four films based upon the radio show, by Philip Reed who is featured in all of the four. In the production here, Wilson's almost girl friend and ace crime reporter Lorelei Kilbourne (Hillary Brooke), after her first novel has been accepted for publication, gives him two weeks notice of her resignation from her newspaper position but, to her chagrin, she is almost immediately replaced by the Illustrated Press owner's niece Susan (Anne Gillis), who by appearances also wedges herself into Steve's affections, although in reality he is using her to discover information of crooked Big Town activity involving an illegal gambling ring that preys upon college students. Susan is possibly not what she appears to be, and while Steve explores the girl's connection with local gambling kingpin Chuck LaRue (Richard Travis), owner of the Winners' Club, a night spot for gambling that is near to the campus where Susan attends, Lorelei also investigates her new rival's activities, with her efforts yielding more than she has expected, as all three of them may be in serious peril from the Forces of Evil. This is better than a routine "B" programmer, as it provides some incisive and hardbitten dialogue, a clever subtext based upon poker playing, and a generally edgy quality pervading the characterizations that lifts the work above the norm and, in spite of budget restrictions that rule out retakes, and a necessity for filling demands of its melodrama genre, there is plenty of "business" for a viewer to enjoy. Reed and Brooke make an elegant and worldly pair, veteran charcter players William Haade and Joe Sawyer perform as LaRue henchmen, and Vince Barnett has a substantial part in this Pine/Thomas production with producer William Thomas also directing and capably utilizing a crisply composed Whitman Chambers script in an always interesting, skillfully edited, briskly paced and well-cast film that additionally includes an effective original score by Darrell Calker, Gotham flavoured, of course, although the extensive location shooting is along Normandie Avenue on the east side of Hollywood."
"Hildy Johnson tried to quit, and look what happened to him.
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 06/14/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Yah, his watch got stolen" is the newsroom reply in BIG TOWN AFTER DARK (1947), which is of course inaccurate. In Hecht/McArthur's THE FRONT PAGE (1931), Editor Walter Burns gave Hildy a going-away present, his watch, then called the cops to report Johnson had stolen it. Small matter. As in that story though, here the ace reporter is quitting and the paper's editor seeks ways to keep the departure from occurring.

This adaptation of the radio show "Big Town" was scripted in part by that show's writers, Daniel Mainwaring and Maxwell Shane. PARAMOUNT's second unit team lends a fine late-40s look to this spare crime drama. Ann Gillis as Susan Peabody, a girl whose face belongs on an iodine bottle (according to the story), plays a not-so-innocent 20-year-old college dropout quite well. Hillary Brooke as crime reporter Lorelei Kilbourne is cultivating the haughtiness she brought to full flower in THE ABBOTT & COSTELLO SHOW. Phillip Reed, starring in his second of three "Big Town" programmers, is competently handsome as Illustrated Press editor Steve Wilson.

The picture falls short in two areas. Comic relief Vince Barnett as Hillary's snoop fails to amuse, and the two action sequences are spoiled by staginess. These are not enough however to make this an ill-spent hour. The costumes, cars, settings, atmosphere and fast-moving plot make "Big Town After Dark" a satisfying cinematic snack. Recommended.

Specialists in niche market material such as vintage programmers and TV shows, Pennsylvania-based ALPHA VIDEO is owned by Jerry Greene, founder of Collectable Records. Quality of their unrestored movie transfers varies from fair to good, based on condition of source material stock (often old 16mm broadcast prints). The only extras provided are a catalog insert and DVD-accessible title list."