Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Gangs, Inc (1941)

Perhaps it's just that my standards have been lowered by rot like Gangster's Boy, but I rather enjoyed this film (which is also known by the alternative titles Crime, Inc and - in my opinion, the far superior option - Paper Bullets).

At the outset of the movie, young Rita Adams sees her father, an ex-con, gunned down in front of her.  She grows up in an orphanage, gets a job in a factory, and is more or less making her way okay.  But then her employer starts filling defence orders, and her father's incarceration prevents her from getting the papers she needs to keep working there.

Things go from bad to worse when her good for nothing boyfriend hits a pedestrian while driving drunk and persuades her to take the fall from him.  "They won't send you to jail" he promises.  But of course they do.

Two years later (which the film breezes through in about twenty seconds of screen time), Rita gets released.  She's done playing by the rules, though.  She has a new way of getting by in the world now.  And when papers come into her possession that show her former boyfriend's rich father is crooked, well, those plans get a whole lot bigger.

There's honestly nothing terribly innovative or exceptional about this film, but it's helped immensely by good performances from the leads, and some decent banter.  The script does have a tendency to explain the plot to you, in case you aren't keeping up, but I've certainly seen worse.

The story of Rita's fall, rise, and eventual fall again (because this is the 40s, and criminals aren't allowed to get away with it) made for a pretty decent way to spend an hour, all told.

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