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Jail Bait (1954).

February 3, 2009

The Scoop:
Ah, yes. The classics…

This is an Ed Wood product, so what else can you say about it? Like so many of his other masterpieces, this one is eminently watchable and virtually unreviewable. The plot, such as it is, involves a hardened criminal (Timothy Farrell) who draws an young innocent (Clancy Malone) into a life of crime, then blackmails the boy’s plastic surgeon father (Herbert Rawlinson, who died the morning after he shot his scenes) into giving him a new face so he can evade the cops (led by Lyle Talbot).

Along with Wood mainstays Farrell and Talbot, the cast also includes Dolores Fuller (in an angora sweater, of course) and Steve Reeves, in his first speaking part, as a cop.

The incompetence on display here is staggering. In fact, you could say it is Woodian in the truest sense of the word. “Jail Bait” belongs with “Glen or Glenda?” (1953) and “Plan 9 From Outer Space” (1959) in the triumvirate of classic Ed Wood cinema.

Best Line:
So much great dialogue, so little time. How about this great exchange: “Come on, let’s go.” / “Where to?” / “What do you mean, where to?” / “Just that — where to?”

Or, how about “This afternoon we had a long telephone conversation earlier in the day.”

Side Note:
The “director’s cut” available on most recent releases features an extraneous, gratuitous striptease act, which replaces the original scene of a blackface minstrel nightclub performance.

Companion Viewing:
“The Violent Years” (1956) and “The Sinister Urge” (1961).

Links:
IMDb.
phillyBurbs.
A highly unofficial fan page.

Take a Look:
Trailer:

Steve Reeves gives the ladies what they came for (warning: crappy audio):

Wood’s cast models the fashions of “Jail Bait”:

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