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“Parole, Inc.” - Gangster Crime Adventure
released on March 18, 1948
The Actors: Michael O'Shea (Richard Hendricks, undercover investigator), Turhan Bey (Barney Rodescu, Jojo's lawyer), Evelyn Ankers (Jojo Dumont, gangster boss), Virginia Lee (Glenda Palmer), Charles Bradstreet (Harry Palmer, convict), Lyle Talbot (Police Commissioner), Michael Whalen (Kid Redmond, punchboard salesman), Charles Williams (Titus Jones, parole board member with thick glasses), James Cardwell (Duke Vigili), Paul Bryar (nightclub manager Charley Newton, gangster 'straw boss'), Noel Cravat (Blackie Olson, punchboard salesman), Marshall Bradford (the Governor), Edgar Dearing (Attorney General Whitmore), Bess Flowers (Mary, a nurse), Charles Jordan (Monty Cooper), Harry Lauter (Donald Perkins, parole board member), John Merton (Police Captain), Mike Donovan (Policeman Mike), Buddy Mason (Policeman), Ralph Montgomery (prison guard), William H. O'Brien (nightclub patron), Jack Raymond (Frank Mitchell, punchboard salesman), William Ruhl (prison board chairman Ralph Holliday), Bob Thom (Policeman), Edwin Tuttle (nightclub patron)
The Undercover Cop and the Mob-Run Parole Board
Michael O’Shea had five brothers who all became policemen, but Michael had a passion for performance. He put together a dance band called ‘Michael O’Shea and His Stationary Gypsies’ and tried comedy on Vaudeville. After several parts in big Broadway shows, Michael got the part of a vaudeville comic in the 1943 Barbara Stanwyck hit movie, Lady of Burlesque.
Many of his movie roles between then and his final motion picture in 1952 had him playing the part of policemen, and in this gangster adventure he never wears a uniform, but he is still the good guy Federal undercover cop who tries to infiltrate the mob.
As our adventure opens Michael is having a secret meeting with the Governor, the Attorney General of the state and the Police Commissioner, who is played by television sit-com comedy sidekick Lyle Talbot. These men seem to believe that the state parole board is deliberately releasing criminals early who immediately return to their mob jobs, and they think that the parole board must have one or more corrupt members.
It will be Michael’s job to impersonate an ex-convict who will try to infiltrate the gang that might be controlling the parole board. The story is told in flashback manner, with Michael in the opening scene laying in a hospital bed with bandaged wounds, slowly speaking into a newfangled dictating machine. What will science in the modern age of 1948 come up with next? Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
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