Richard Denning headlines this Republic Pictures quickie from 1951. The Cosmopolitan Life Insurance Company is getting nailed with a pile of suspicious double indemnity claims. The insurance company sends their best detective, Richard Denning, to check on the latest claim. It involves the senior partner of a Real Estate company who had a $100,000 policy.
Seems that the man, Wilson Wood, took a quick trip the wrong way down a flight of stairs. The junior partner in the company, John Eldredge, gets the 100,000 grand and control of the company. Denning meets with the dead man's daughter, Audrey Long. He tells her they need her help checking out some details on her father's death.
She agrees to get him a job in the company so he can look around. Turns out the insurance company was correct in believing something was amiss. Eldredge is into the mob for big cash in gambling debts. He has been using company funds to pay off the debts, but needs to replace the cash. The company book-keeper, Hillary Brooke, has been helping Eldredge hide the fraud. Even though the two have been stepping out together, she can only keep the fraud hidden for so long.
The mob front men, Reed Hadley and Roy Barcroft, had approached Eldredge with a plan to pay off his debts. They will bump off Eldredge's partner and take their end out of the insurance payout. After Denning puts a stop on the payment, Eldredge decides to kill off Denning. He rigs the building elevator to open without the elevator being there. Unfortunately, it is poor Miss Brooke who takes the long fall.
The mob now decides Eldredge has become a loose end that they can do without. He is shot and set up with a suicide note admitting to his partner's murder. Denning knows it is a frame and keeping digging. He soon discovers the real estate company checks used to pay off the mob. He then discovers that the mob is behind most of the suspicious payoffs. The mob gets a mark in deep, then they sign him up for a big policy with double indemnity.
Several weeks go by and then the person has a "mishap" of some sort. Denning is starting to become an annoyance so the mob decides to take him for a "ride". They put the grab on Denning while he is out with Long checking a lead. Long calls the cops and the chase is on. A wild car chase with a brisk exchange of gunfire is needed before Handley and Barcroft are disposed of. A quick and to the point Republic programmer.
Denning appeared in, Golden Gloves, The Glass Key, No Man Of Her Own, The Glass Web, Girls In Prison and The Crooked Web.
Hillary Brooke was in Ministry of Fear, Alimony, Unmasked, Heatwave.
Audrey Long of course we all know from, Born to Kill and Desperate.
Roy Barcroft had around 400 diff screen and TV roles. He was in about 10 low rent noir.
Reed Hadley had over 200 diff film and TV bits. He was one of the most in demand voices for narration work, Boomerang, Canon City and He Walked By Night are a few of the films his voice was featured in.
The rest of the cast included William Tannen, Phil Pine, Ruth Lee and Pat Knox.
The film was directed by George Blair. He turned out several good low-rent noir like, Uunmasked, Lonely Heart Bandits, Federal Agent at Large, Missing Women, Exposed and Secrets of Monte Carlo. It is too bad that Blair never got a decent budget. For a Republic director, he does show some talent.
The screenplay and story was by Gertude Walker. Walker wrote the stories for, The Damned Don't Cry, Whispering Footsteps and Railroaded.
The d of P was John MacBurnie, Red Meance, Federal Agent at Large and Missing Women.