Scams! Intrigue! Murder!
Two detectives with the BUNCO SQUAD (Herbert I. Leeds 1950) are on a mission to put the Fear of God into carnies, numerologists, tarot card readers and spiritualists who prey on the wealthy retirees of Los Angeles. They discover that a consortium of such predators are about to make a big score by convincing a wealthy widow that her dead son wants her to amend her will to leave her estate to the consortium. And, of course, once the will is amended, her days will be numbered. How to foil this nefarious scheme? The detectives enlist the girlfriend of one of them and a retired magician to concoct a rival spiritualist set-up that will convince the widow not to leave her estate to the evil consortium. The Bad Guys (and Gal) discover that, and violence and death ensue. But, fortunately, the Cult Crooks are exposed!
What a wonderful 67 minutes! Part police procedural, part quasi-heist, director Leeds (a journeyman B-movie director) keeps things moving. And the cast of Robert Sterling, Joan Dixon, Ricardo Cortez (nee Jacob Krantz -- gotta love that), and Bernadene Hayes never allow their star-power to get in the way telling a swift story. This is second tier B-Noir at its finest.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
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