Monday, June 29, 2009

Gale Storm

Gale Storm died yesterday at the age of 87. Storm had a successful career on television in the fifties and sixties, but she also appeared in a few noirs during her time in films. She was a minor figure in noir, the result perhaps of the same lightness that made her such a huge success in television comedy (and at her peak she was almost as famous as Lucille Ball) but her noir work isn't bad. One particularly good film is Cy Endfield's The Underworld Story starring Dan Duryea, a solid newspaper noir about race and public manipulation. My favorite of Storm's noirs, however, is the underrated Abandonded with Dennis O'Keefe and Raymond Burr. A taut thriller about baby abductions, it gives Storm the leading part and builds the story around her search to find her dead sister's baby. This movie is a real find, a rare noir that deals with subjects like suicide, infanticide, and the black market for newborns. It's also nicely shot and thrillingly directed, all in all a lot of fun.