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Fun fair boxing promoters Sharky (Sid James) and Charlie (John Slater)
discover John Flanagan (Tony Wright), a genuine boxing talent, and soon
enough hook him up with big time boxing promoter Giuseppe (Frederick
Valk), the nicest of men, who invites all three of them to stay in his
house and prepare for Johnny's first professional fight ... so everything
should be just great - except for the fact that Giuseppe has an attractive
wife, Lorna (Barbara Payton), who is much younger than him, and she and
Johnny take an immediate dislike into each other.
But instead of ignoring this fact, Giuseppe tries to make them
reconcile - the fool - and soon enough Johnny and Lorna not only start
liking each other, they also start an affair, cheating on Giuseppe
whenever they can. Before long, Lorna tells Johnny she is pregnant from
him - and right before his first fight too, which Johnny loses as a
consequence, much to the dismay of Giuseppe, who then wants to throw
Johnny, Sharky and Charlie out ... until Lorna tells him she is pregnant
(without of course telling him who the real father is), which gets
Giuseppe in a much better, softer mood, and he invites everybody to stay
Soon enough, Lorna starts plotting the murder of her husband, with
Johnny being a vital part of her plan. Johnny, the good guy,
refuses, but an attractive woman like Lorna always has ways to persuade
men ... and so one day, Johnny drowns Giuseppe - who cannot swim - in a
lake nearby´and even manages to make it look like an accident. The police
has no problems believing this, but Giuseppe's mother (Marie Burke), who
came all the way from Italy for her son's funeral, soon spots the guilty
party, and she also senses that Lorna isn't really pregnant. She doesn't
go to the police though but confronts Lorna and Johnny with her suspicions
... and Johnny soon enough starts to break up and he wants to turn himself
(and Lorna) in. Lorna of course can't let this happen, so she poisons him
and makes it look like suicide. But Sharky has seen through her charade
long ago, and when he sees dead Johnny, he manipulates the evidence so
that it looks like the murder it actually was ...and Lorna, who becomes
totally unhinged in the end, is taken away by the police ...
Sharky and Charlie meanwhile return to staging prizefights at fun
fairs, always scared that they one day once again will discover a talent
One thing up front: The Boy Flanagan/Bad Blonde is no
masterpiece. But that aside, it's a competently made British film noir in
the mode of James M.Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice, and as
that it works very well and shouldn't disappoint any serius film noir fan.
And Barbara Payton makes a good femme fatale. The only real
letdowns of the film are Frederick Valk's a bit too ham performance of
Italian Giuseppe and Tony Wright's disappointingly pale male lead. But
that's not enough to sink the movie.