Half A Sinner (April 5, 1940)
Released on April 5, 1940: (running time 59 minutes) Young schoolteacher Anne decides to dress sexy and sample the life of a party girl.
Produced by Al Christie
Directed by Al Christie
Written by Frederick J. Jackson and Dalton Trumbo
The Actors: Heather Angel (Anne Gladden), John 'Dusty' King (Larry Cameron), Constance Collier (Mrs. Jefferson Breckenridge), Walter Catlett (turnpike gas station attendant), Tom Dugan (Red Egan, henchman), Robert Elliott (Police Officer Kelly), Clem Bevans (Snuffy), Emma Dunn (Granny Gladden), Henry Brandon (Handsome, Red's sidekick), William B. Davidson (Slick Kopesco, gangster boss), Fern Emmett (Margaret Reed, school teacher), Sonny Bupp (Willy, school boy), Wilbur Mack (Chauffeur Mason), Joe Devlin (Steve, a Kopesco hanchman), Richard Cramer (Mugg), Eddie Hall (man in Country Club dining room), Fred Kohler Jr. (garage owner), Antonia Oland (Sally), Jason Robards Sr. (country club garage man)
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Teacher Likes the Naughty Boys Best, or Smokey Joe, the Stiff in the Limo
Sir William Penn was an English real estate developer, son of a famous British Admiral, and a devoutly religious Quaker. King Charles II owed Penn’s father a great debt, and instead of paying what he owed, the king gave William Penn a large chunk of the New World that the British were colonizing. This land was first named ‘New Wales,’ and then ‘Sylvania,’ the Latin word for ‘forests,’ and finally the Penn name was added, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was born.
The first three counties that William Penn created in his new home were Philadelphia County, Bucks County, and Chester County, to the west of Philadelphia. Chester county had, and still has, the largest number of wealthy families of any county in Pennsylvania. It is in Chester County, in Pennsylvania, that our gangster adventure takes place.
Twenty-five-year-old Anne, played by Heather Angel, is a schoolteacher in Chester. She wears glasses, unattractive clothes, and has a very dull life. She has never worn high heels, real nylons, or a glamourous dress, and has never ‘stepped out’ to party and sample the wild side of life. But as our adventure opens, it is spring, and after a typical Friday of teaching young children in school, Anne decides to spend Saturday like a princess.
Anne buys a sexy outfit, including real nylons, high-heeled shoes, and she sets her glasses aside. She will dress up in her finest new clothes, and spend Saturday morning sitting on a park bench reading a magazine and hoping against all hope that something exciting will happen. She hopes that a dashing young prince of a fellow will stop and introduce himself and sweep her off her feet. Unfortunately, the man who sits on the park bench next to her is a gangster.
She sees his gun, and is repulsed by his crude advances, and fearing that he will force himself on her as he tries to get her into his limousine, she eludes him and frantically drives away in his limo. She will just drive around a bit and then park the limo and make her way back home, safe and sound. At least that is the plan. Unfortunately, like many plans, things will not go as expected, especially after she picks up a stranger and he discovers the dead body in the back seat of the limo. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Constance Collier and Dusty King
Dusty King and Heather Angel
Emma Dunn and Heather Angel
Fred Kohler Jr. and John 'Dusty' King
Heather Angel and Sonny Bupp
Henry Brandon and Tom Dugan
Joe Devlin and William B. Davidson
John 'Dusty' King and Heather Angel
Robert Elliott and Clem Bevans
Robert Elliott and Wilbur Mack
Robert Elliott and Tom Dugan
Tom Dugan and William B. Davidson
William B. Davidson