Main Street After Dark


56m 1945

Brief Synopsis

A police clean-up campaign could put a family of pickpockets out of work.

Film Details

Also Known As
Paddy Rollers, Telltale Hands
Genre
Drama
Crime
Release Date
Jan 1945
Premiere Information
New York opening: 12 Jan 1945
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
56m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6 reels

Synopsis

After learning that her son Lefty has been paroled from prison and is on his way home, Abby "Ma" Dibson, the matriarch of a family of petty thieves, pawns some watches that her daughter Rosalie and Lefty's wife Jessie Belle recently stole from combat-bound servicemen. Keller, the pawnbroker, tries to interest Ma in buying some guns, but Ma turns him down, insisting that they are too risky. While waiting for his older brother at the bus station, Posey Dibson, a convicted pickpocket, is approached by police lieutenant Lorrigan, who frisks him and warns him to stay away from crowds. Later, at the Dibson house, Lefty reunites with his family and is immediately visited by Lorrigan. The detective warns Lefty and Ma that if Posey and Rosalie are caught stealing from servicemen, they will "get the book," then informs Lefty about a job in a dairy. Although Lefty assures Lorrigan and Ma that he will consider the job, he immediately begins plotting to rob McBain, the cash-carrying owner of the bar in which Jessie and Rosalie pick up servicemen. With help from Jessie, Posey then robs two soldiers by posing as the night clerk at a hotel and offering to put their valuables in the hotel safe. When the soldiers realize they have been robbed, they report the theft to Lorrigan and the military police. Although the commanding military officer is anxious to declare the town off-limits to servicemen, Lorrigan reassures him that the police will soon curtail the petty thieves' activities. The next day, Lefty buys Keller's guns and shrugs off Ma and Jessie's threats that they will desert him if he ever uses the weapons. Unknown to the Dibson family, Lorrigan has recruited a group of servicemen to act as decoys and has given them money coated with a fluorescent powder that will rub off when touched. As Posey and Lefty wait for McBain to leave his bar for the night, Jessie hands Lefty a wallet from her latest victim and is soon arrested by Lorrigan, who sees her fingertips glow when exposed to an ultraviolet light. Unaware of Jessie's plight, Lefty robs and kills McBain, then takes his getaway car to be repainted at a garage. When Lorrigan discovers the fluorescent powder on McBain's body, he suspects that Jessie and Lefty are involved. Lorrigan goes to the Dibson house in search of Lefty and announces that he will wait there until Lefty returns. Although Ma tries to alert Lefty and Posey about Lorrigan's stake-out, the crooks are caught by the police outside the Dibson house and brought inside. There, Ma tries to take Lorrigan by surprise while he inspects Lefty's fingers in the semi-darkness, but during a struggle for one of Lefty's guns, Posey is fatally wounded. Lorrigan arrests Lefty, and Lefty, Ma, Rosalie and Jessie are sent to prison.

Film Details

Also Known As
Paddy Rollers, Telltale Hands
Genre
Drama
Crime
Release Date
Jan 1945
Premiere Information
New York opening: 12 Jan 1945
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
56m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were Paddy Rollers and Telltale Hands. According to the Variety review, the picture was to be the first of five M-G-M features "designed-through under-hour running time-to provide support for the company's top A's." Other reviewers described Main Street After Dark as an elongated version of one of M-G-M's Crime Does Not Pay shorts. Producer Jerry Bresler worked on the series, which featured short, documentary-like crime stories. Reviewers also commented on the timeliness of the picture's subject matter. A New York Post writer called the film "a pretty strong warning to men in uniform," adding that "civilians are being told everywhere what they can't say to a soldier or sailor without causing an explosion." According to records at NARS in Washington, D.C., however, The Office of Censorship, Los Angeles Board of Review disapproved the film for export, noting that it was "definitefly objectionable from our Code standpoint on ground of a picturization of general lawless conditions including holdups and murder."
       Although Charles Salerno is listed as director of photography in one contemporary source, no other source mentions him. Hollywood Reporter production charts and news items add the following actors to the cast: John Kellogg, Dick Crockett, Edith Leach, William Tannen, Ralph Brooke, Douglas Cowan, James Clark, Wally Cassell, Robert Middlemass, George Sherwood, Jack Reilly, Phil Hanna, Bill Phillips, Arthur Walsh, Will Walls, Kernan Cripps and Jimmy Lucas. Their appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed, however. In addition, Joe Hickey, an M-G-M dance director, is listed in Hollywood Reporter as playing a military police captain, but his appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed.