Quicksand (1950)

quicksand 1950

One of those movies you watch just to see how dumb it can get. Luckily for Peter Lorre he’s not in it too much. Mickey Rooney plays a man who finds out getting twenty bucks to date the new dame in town can be your first step into the quicksand of crime.

Danny Brady (Mickey Rooney) and his two pals are at the counter of a diner…when she walks in. She’s blonde. She’s hot. She’s single. She’s the new cashier. Danny has recently dumped his long time girlfriend because he felt she was getting too into the marriage idea. He comes up with enough lame lines to get Vera Novak (Jeanne Cagney) to go out with him when she gets off work.

He needs twenty bucks. It’s just laying in the register he’s responsible for so why not a quick little loan. The bookkeeper isn’t due for a couple days and his tightwad boss will never know. He’ll put it back tomorrow. His friend who owed him twenty bucks says he’ll have it tomorrow. No problem.

That night he and Vera go window shopping. There’s a two thousand dollar mink coat she just has to have one day. After that they head to the amusement pier and Nick’s (Peter Lorre) arcade. Vera used to work there. Nick and Danny are not going to be buddies.

The next day the bookkeeper arrives two days early and Danny’s pal has taken out a charter on his fishing boat. There goes the twenty. Danny buys a hundred dollar watch for a dollar down and takes it to a pawn shop and gets thirty bucks. Back at the garage where he works he manages to replace the twenty right in front of the bookkeeper. No harm done.

Yes there is.

The next day at the garage he gets a visit from Inspector Moriarity. The jeweler found out about the pawn. Since Danny bought it on time he didn’t have the right to sell it since it still belongs to the store until the final payment. He’s got one day to get a hundred bucks.

While at his favorite bar he can’t help but see Shorty McCabe. He runs a bingo game on the pier and he loaded…with his nightly take and booze. Danny mugs him in the parking lot and is now loaded himself with fifty dollar bills. The cops are chasing around and he sees his old girlfriend Helen with her pal Millie He joins them to make it look like the three have been together the whole time. Danny and Helen take off and Millie, saying she doesn’t mind, goes to a movie alone.

While having some ice cream Danny realizes he’s late for a date with Vera and tells Helen he has to meet a guy. See ya. Tomorrow is another day and another step in the quicksand of crime. Nick says he knows he robbed Shorty and wants a new car to keep his mouth shut. Danny steals one from the garage and Nick sells it to a gambler who is taking it to Nevada. Now he’s out of the woods.

No he’s not.

His tightwad boss tells him he was seen driving off with the car. Three thousand bucks will square it. He;en says Nick has a lot of cash locked up in his place. That night Danny breaks in to steal it. Dodging the night watchman’s bullets he gets away as Vera was waiting in his car. Now everything’s okay.


The movie tries way too hard to be clever and trips over itself and manages to fall into its own quicksand. The ending is a laugher.

Jeanne Cagney is Jimmy’s sister.



About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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