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Author Topic: Flaxy Martin (1949)  (Read 484 times)
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« on: November 24, 2013, 04:57:29 PM »

Directed by Richard L. Bare with stars: Virginia Mayo, Zachary Scott, Dorothy Malone, and Elisha Cook Jr.  A decent effort marred somewhat by some silly over the top dialog spouted by Cook Jr., in fact all the scenes with Cook involved are a little over done, or a little to stupid. Scott is better than I expected Mayo is good but AWOL for most of the film. I wouldn't give it much more than a 6 or 6.5

Here is a better take.

From IMDb

Zachary Scott, Virginia Mayo give their best in often overlooked film noir 7/10

Author: bmacv from Western New York
23 August 2003

Zachary Scott isn't a name on the tips of too many tongues these days, but in the late ‘40s he was a very busy boy. However, in his best remembered movies, like Mildred Pierce and Flamingo Road, he had the misfortune to play second fiddle to the domineering Joan Crawford; many of his roles, too, were as weaklings, leaving the false impression that he was a weak actor (his visage – deeply waved hair, a Tomas E. Dewey mustache – was considered quite dashing in the post-war years but now looks seriously passé, which doesn't help his legacy either).

Flaxy Martin preserves one of his stronger starring performances, as a mob mouthpiece who finds himself in over his head. He's been balking at his shady job as a syndicate lawyer for a long time, but his girl (Virginia Mayo, who takes the title role) keeps urging him to stick with it until he assembles a nice nest egg. Unfortunately, she's really the moll of syndicate kingpin Douglas Kennedy, stringing Scott along to keep him quiescent. When a murder by one of Kennedy's goons threatens to implicate Mayo, Scott takes the rap, confident that he'll get himself off. He didn't count on being double-crossed. The plot traces his rude awakening and plans for payback.

The movie mixes a lot of tight, hard scenes with some soft and sappy ones; the redemptive sub-plot with, as Scott's new love interest, Dorothy Malone (wasted yet again as a good girl) proves flat and superfluous. Mayo, along with Scott, has one of her better parts; she might have been one of the noir cycle's more memorable femme fatales had her acting skills been on a par with her pouty blonde looks. And Elisha Cook, Jr. contributes another turn as a bantam rooster barely bigger than his gun.

Flaxy Martin, along the the previous year's Smart Girls Don't Talk (also starring Mayo), marks a rare break for director Richard Bare, who from the early ‘40s until the late ‘50s and his passage into series television directed little but dozens upon dozens of `humorous' shorts with titles beginning `So you think you're...' and `So you want to be...'. They're a part of Hollywood better left undisturbed. The overlooked Flaxy Martin, on the other hand, ought to be a bit better known

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