Prime dreck from PRC
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 02/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Prime dreck from the Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC); MISS V FROM MOSCOW is a fascinating wartime thriller, filmed in 1942, which briskly plays out it's 66 minute running time and manages to entertain thoroughly.
B-movie queen Lola Lane plays Russian spy Vera Marova (code-named `V') who adopts the persona of murdered German agent Greta Hiller and goes behind enemy lines into occupied Paris to glean top secret military information. Her life in constant peril, `V' infiltrates Nazi headquarters and wires back the vital information to Russia before her cover is finally blown . Glorious B-movie nonsense from PRC, the most notorious of the `Poverty Row' film companies.
Lola Lane is a delight and her spunky, ballsy heroine holds together the whole film nicely. A former Warner Brothers contract player, Lane found her greatest role in 1937's "Marked Woman" opposite Bette Davis before finding a profitible career in Poverty Row features like this.
Alpha's print comes from a good quality video master; the picture is sharp and well-defined for the most part and the sound is clean and audible throughout."
Glorious low-budget hokum
yaremar | Pilsen, USA | 12/08/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In his milestone volume B MOVIES (Curtis Books, 1973), Don Miller titled one of the chapters "MISS V FROM MOSCOW and Other Disasters: PRC," and went on to note: "[MISS V] may well be one of the worst movies ever made by any standards, certainly the worst movie of its year...but for students of bad cinema, the film is a classic."
Of all the "Poverty Row" studios of the 1940s, PRC (Producers Releasing Corporation) was considered the bottom of the barrel. Even the folks at Republic and Monogram looked down their low-budget noses at this impoverished operation. Alpha Video offers several PRC titles, from their relative best (DETOUR, THE DEVIL BAT, STRANGE ILLUSION) to ones only for the terminally curious (SPOOK TOWN, TORTURE SHIP). When a PRC film is bad, it's as bad as a motion picture can be. But sometimes, when it's REALLY bad, the result is a rare sort of glorious ineptitude. And that's the best way to describe the strangely fascinating MISS V FROM MOSCOW.
This World War II would-be thriller hits so many wrong notes that the effect will be mesmerizing to B-movie fanatics. Because she bears a striking resemblance to a Nazi spy, Soviet secret agent Vera Marova (portrayed with stern determination by former Warner Brothers contract player Lola Lane) is sent to infiltrate the Gestapo in Paris. Amidst variable Russian accents, stock footage of Adolph Hitler, and a German countryside that looks suspiciously like Southern California, our Miss V thwarts a Nazi plot to destroy an American fleet headed to Moscow.
It's very easy to pick on a poor, defenseless little film like this. It was simply one of hundreds of low-budget programmers that were ground out as quickly as possible to serve up as fodder for movie-hungry wartime audiences. But the fact remains that MISS V FROM MOSCOW is such an unintentional hoot that it's far more enjoyable than many other pictures of this type.
Ironically, Alpha Video's copy of MISS V FROM MOSCOW is one of their best-quality prints of a PRC movie (if only THE PHANTOM OF 42ND STREET looked this good). All the more reason why B-movie addicts should seek this one out. Love it or hate it, there's no other wartime thriller quite like it. Thank goodness.