Sunday, May 29, 2016

THE BURGLAR (1957)

It's never a good sign when a film sits unreleased for years until one of the actors becomes famous.  But that's exactly what happened with THE BURGLAR.  It was made in 1955 and then sat unreleased until 1957 after Jayne Mansfield found mainstream success with THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT.  And it's kinda easy to see why nobody wanted it...

First off, those promises in the posters are total bullshit.  "You'll be tense with suspense and limp from excitement!"  It's more like I was limp from trying not to fall asleep!  "They set up a luscious blonde as bait for the robbery of the century!"  What the fuck are you talking about?!  Yes, the criminals sent in Jayne Mansfield to case(!) the house.  That's it.  Later on Dan Duryea went in and stole one necklace worth $150,000.  That's hardly the "robbery of the century".  "An army of police...and the underworld hot on the scent of the beautiful burglar mixed up in the robbery of the decade!"  Well, now you've already reduced it from the robbery of the century to the robbery of the decade.  And...it was only the cops on their trail and not the underworld at all!  Plus Mansfield was not the burglar.  She stayed at home during the one and only burglary.

As far as the lame story goes...A burglar (Dan Duryea) successfully steals a "priceless" necklace (which is immediately valued at $150,000), but due to all kinds of amateur mistakes made on his part, he soon finds that the necklace is more trouble than it's worth.  His biggest mistake is not pulling the robbery alone or maybe with just one person to case the the joint.  Instead, he uses his step-sister (Mansfield), who's secretly in love with him(!!!), to go in and scout the location.  Alright, that's fine.  But then later that same night he parks directly out front of the mansion and then he and his two(!!) partners go onto the property while he does 100% of the work!  The other two don't do shit.  Being that it's an very upscale neighborhood, the police start investigating the car and from there on it the whole plan goes to hell.  He does manage to steal the necklace, but since doesn't even have a buyer lined up(!!!) he decides it's best if they all four simply hang out in their rented house until...I'm not sure what.  This ends up being a horrible plan (duh!) due to the fact that 1) they're still in the area of the robbery and 2) all three of his partners instantly start to go stir crazy!  Including his step-sister who wants to bang him!

THE BURGLAR is not a bad film, just one that really should have never been made.  Uninspired script, lame overacting by the entire cast, uneven photography that's boring most of the time and then kinda cool for brief moments, slow as molasses pace, unlikable characters, dumb decisions nonstop.  On the other hand, Jayne Mansfield is very attractive and probably turns in the best performance of the entire movie.  I normally like Dan Duryea, but goddamn was his character dumb.

Skip it.