THE JIMMY VALENTINE MYSTERY SERIES
UNFORGOTTEN CRIME - A remake of Return of Jimmy Valentine (1936), Republic Pictures' Affairs of Jimmy Valentine is a sequel of sorts to the oft-filmed O. Henry story Alias Jimmy Valentine. In the original tale, an incognito safecracker blew his cover by rescuing a little girl from a safe, prompting a detective who'd planned to arrest the criminal to let him off scot free. Affairs of Jimmy Valentine is set some twenty years later: A radio station decides to improve ratings by launching a nationwide search for reformed cracksman Jimmy Valentine. The search leads to a small town--and a mysterious murder. Roman Bohnen plays the kindly old editor of the small town's newspaper, who may or may not be Guess Who. Acted and directed with a slick professionalism that belies its small budget,
PRISON SHADOWS - Prison Shadows was put together by the Mercury Productions division of Puritan Pictures, the same folks responsible for the above-average horror thriller Rogue's Tavern. Eddie Nugent plays rising young boxer Gene Harris, who is thrown into jail on a manslaughter charge after one of his opponents dies in the ring. Out on parole, Gene can't get over the fact that he has blood on his hands and is reluctant to climb back into the ring. But his crooked manager has already exploited Gene's grief by advertising him as "Killer" Harris, so our hero figures he's got nothing to lose. Reluctantly, he agrees to another fight -- and once again, his opponent is killed. By this time, the audience is way ahead of Gene in suspecting that there's some sort of criminal conspiracy going on, with the luckless boxer pegged as the fall guy.