Behind the Mask (1932, USA)
“Federal agent Hart (Jack Holt) goes undercover in prison in order to get the goods on a drug syndicate,” says the blurb. Well, yes he does. For the first 3 minutes and 42 seconds… then, no more.
It’s a shame, because those opening three-and-a-bit minutes start with some impressive Sing Sing footage and a gritty yard scene, with prisoners Quinn (agent Hart) and Jim Henderson (Boris Karloff) discussing an escape plot out of the sides of their mouths. After Hart escapes, and lands on the doorstep of a syndicate man and his beautiful daughter Julie (Constance Cummings), prison is quite forgotten. In its place is a relatively complex set of plotting, subterfuge, cheating, and (the good guys) cheating death. And, of course, there is an obligatory romantic interlude.
If you’d like to read a review with a decent outline of the plot, you might try this one. If you’re looking for a prison movie, look elsewhere.
Posted on September 30th, 2012 at 4:44 pm. Updated on September 30th, 2012 at 4:44 pm.