“I’m not exactly beautiful, but I am available. I’m kind to my mother and I make very good spaghetti”.
“Sorry I don’t like spaghetti.”
That is a couple of lines of dialog in Whiplash, and there are a few more gems in this little known noir.
This is directed by Lewis Seiler who looks to have directed quite a few films throughout his career though this is the only one I’ve seen.
This movie starts out with our hero played by Dane Clark in a boxing bout in New York City and getting beat pretty handily. He has an inner dialog with himself asking why is he here? What is he doing? He just wants to be back home in California on the beach. In film noir fashion we flashback to a better time in California,with our hero painting a beach scene. He soon finds out one of his paintings has been sold and he thinks the buyer has been ripped off. Our hero doesn’t feel he has enough talent for his paintings to be sold. He hunts down the buyer and soon falls in love with her. Our buyer is also our femme fatale, Laurie, played by Alexis Smith. They fall in love and all is great, until Laurie turns up missing and our hero’s only clue is the painting she bought of his is being sent to a doctor in New York City. Our hero packs up and goes to New York to find his lost love.
When in New York we discover a plethora of new characters. Including Laurie’s husband, an ex-fighter who is now a promoter played by Zachary Scott. An alcoholic doctor played by Jeffrey Lynn. We also get some comic relief from fellow artist played by Eve Arden (from Grease fame).
This film has some more of noir’s favorite sport, boxing, we have a love triangle between our hero, our femme fatale and a fallen hero doing anything he can to get back to the top. This film has not been viewed a lot and maybe a little undervalued. I found this film to be pretty good. With only 200 votes on IMDb and a current rating of 6.4 it is a little underrated.
This film will be enjoyed by film noir fans and boxing fans alike. Worth a viewing if you get a chance.