The Cat Burglar (1961)

the cat burglar 1961

Bad attempt at Noir written by screen heavy Leo Gordon. There’s the germ of a good B movie but terrible acting by the entire cast and the need for a few rewrites sink it like a stone…a big stone. The ending was great and it shows that this could have been a lot more with a different cast and a lot of blue pencil.

Burglar Jack Coley (Jack Hogan) breaks into Nan Baker’s (June Kenney) apartment and steals some jewelry and a briefcase with a notebook inside. Back at his cheap motel room he tears out a page to put under the dresser to make it stand even. He throws the notebook in the trash.

Nan calls her boyfriend Allan and tells him what happened. She doesn’t know it but the notebook contained plans for a secret propulsion unit that foreigners want. His clients are not amused especially when the newspaper says a spy ring has been broken up.

Nan goes to an alcoholic who knows his way around. He leads her to Pete’s pawnshop. He doesn’t tell her Jack was in earlier and pawned the jewelry.  Pete goes to Nan’s apartment offering to sell her stuff back. Alan comes out of the backroom and strong arms Pete about the notebook. He tells Jack.

Jack is too late. The trash has been picked up and is on its way to be burned. But..he looks at the papers under the dresser. He buys a notebook and puts the papers inside and makes some gibberish papers to full it out.  He sells it to Nan who turns it over to Allan.

Allan happily gives it to his clients Reed and Leo. His joy quickly ends when they tell him the papers are fakes. The trail leads back to Jack. They work him over until he tells them about Pete. Reed heads for the pawn shop while Leo keeps an eye on Jack. Jack says he wants some ice for his face. He and Leo go to the motel office where the owner’s son is in the kitchen.

He tells Jack he lined the cat’s litter box with the papers. Jack recovers the papers and knocks Leo out with an ice tray and takes off for Pete’s. When he gets there he finds Pete’s body. He goes to Nan and tells her what happened and he now wants a thousand dollars for the papers.

The movie continues on its amateurish way. I was surprised by the ending and it’s too bad the preceding hour can’t live up to it.

Jack Hogan had better luck on TV playing Private William G.Kirby on “Combat!”(1962-67).

June Kenney-Jack Hogan

June Kenney-Jack Hogan

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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.
This entry was posted in Crime-Mystery-Spy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Cat Burglar (1961)

  1. I liked the idea of knocking out someone with an ice tray. It’s so low-tech it’s almost ingenious.

  2. I noticed that on the film’s ad that you showed, it was made by the Harvard Film Corporation. That right there may be why it was a poorly done film. Ivy leaguers and film noir don’t match, imho. 🙂

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