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From The Mill Creek 50 Movie Dark Crime Collection. ou really have to put your brain on auto pilot to watch this flick, because not a whole lot of it makes any sense. I can see where you could come up with a boxing story with the basic premise of fixing the big match by committing murder, but why in the world would you go to the trouble of killing a couple of palookas along the way on the outside chance of getting to Madison Square Garden? The movie is filled with a lot of 'Whys?', and I keep asking myself why they were in there.
Like this - did I hear this right? Claire (Lucille Lund) explains she can't marry Gene Harris (Eddie Nugent) for seven years because he just got out on parole. What?! Where's that in the marriage rule book? Claire just might be the most unbelievable character in the story; can you imagine someone like her hooking up with Monte Blue as fight manager Bert? You would think he'd be the first guy she would want to take out after the first amorous advance.
I'm convinced that B movie writers of the era regularly failed to put their stories up to a sniff test for even a hint of believability. Chinese herb poison in the towel that absorbs into the bloodstream resulting in death? If that were the case, Charlie Chan would have come across it in one of his flicks for sure.
I can sometimes get long winded panning films like this but I'll keep this one mercifully short. I'll just close on one more element that defies explanation. Why have Corky the Dog portray Babe the Dog. Why not just let him keep his own name? And why not have HIS picture on the little doggy grave at the end of the picture? Sorry, I said one more element. I couldn't help it. 2 Stars 2-25-14
When boxer Gene Harris (Nugent) kills two men in the ring, in two back-to-back fights, seperated by a three-year manslaughter stint in the clink, his trainer (Saylor) smells a rat and tries to investigate.
That's not the best summary of "Prison Shadows", but a more detailed one would give away too much of the plot. Unfortunately, that plot is one that will barely make sense to even the most attentive viewer. It's not that it's overly complicated... it's just that it's dumb, with bad guys that are even dumber. (And they're not dumb for comedy... they're just dumb.)
And speaking of dumb. I think the character Gene has got to be one of the most frustrating characters I've ever experienced in a film. The level of obliviousness he shows to the affection that Good Girl Mary Comstock (Barclay) has for him while he carries his torch for Femme Fatale Clair Thomas (Lund) is maddening.I usually don't mind romantic subplots, but this one bugged the heck out of me.
It's a shame the script for this film is so awful, because all the actors are good in their parts--Nugent is perhaps the weakest of the bunch, but I may feel that way due to his bone-headed character more than anything. He wasn't exactly bad... he was just "blah" when compared to everyone else.
Starring: Edward Nugent, Joan Barclay, Lucille Lund,and Syd Saylor
Director: Robert Hill
Solid "B" crime melodrama with a touch of romance. Short, sweet and to the point. The acting isn't the greatest but it is never slow moving and moves along at a brisk pace.