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Stage Struck (1948)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 13 June 1948 (USA)
The police find the body of hostess Helen Howard (Wanda McKay), disposed of by petty racketeer Nick Mantee (Kane Richmond) after she was shot in his Bluejay night club by Benny Nordick (... See full summary »


William Nigh


George Wallace Sayre (screenplay) (as George W. Sayre), Agnes Christine Johnston (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
Kane Richmond ... Nick Mantee
Audrey Long ... Nancy Howard
Conrad Nagel ... Police Lt. Williams
Ralph Byrd ... Police Sgt. Tom Ramey
John Gallaudet ... Benny Nordick
Anthony Warde ... Mr. Barda
Pamela Blake ... Janet Winters
Charles Trowbridge ... Police Capt. Webb
Nana Bryant ... Mrs. Howard
Selmer Jackson ... Mr. Howard
Evelyn Brent ... Miss Lloyd
Wanda McKay ... Helen Howard
Lyn Thomas ... Ruth Ames (as Jacqueline Thomas)
Wilbur Mack ... Prof. Corella


The police find the body of hostess Helen Howard (Wanda McKay), disposed of by petty racketeer Nick Mantee (Kane Richmond) after she was shot in his Bluejay night club by Benny Nordick (John Gallaudet) because she knew too much about Mantee's rackets. Police Lieutenant Williams (Conrad Nagel) and police Sergeant Tom Ramey (Ralph Byrd) inform the dead girl's parents and sister Nancy (Audrey Long) of the run-away's death. Nancy, inpatient waiting for the police to get a solid case together, signs with the Mercer Agency operated by Nordick, training girls for an excessive sum which they work off as hostesses at the Bluejay Club. Nancy becomes a hostess at the club and after a party for Latin-American night club owner Barda (Anthony Warde), she uncovers evidence that places Helen at the club. She accuses Nick and Benny of the murder and the two mobsters realize they must do away with her. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She wanted luxuries...bright lights...and got a prison cell (Jacqueline Thomas)...She tried to get by with her beauty...but only got burned (Pamela Blake) (original poster) See more »


Crime | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

13 June 1948 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Final film of veteran director William Nigh. See more »

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User Reviews

exciting, well-acted crime drama about missing young women
7 January 2002 | by django-1See all my reviews

Structured much like an exploitation film, but minus any sleaze

or cynicism, this 1948 crime drama exposes the sordid world of "modeling agencies" set up to entrap and exploit lonely runaway young women from small towns who find themselves in the big city, waiting for some kind of "break" toward a career in modeling or acting. With a first-class supporting cast (Conrad Nagel, Evelyn Brent, Wanda McKay, Ralph "Dick Tracy" Byrd), the film pits Audrey Long--the sister of the young woman whose murder opens the film-- against the seedy yet suave Kane Richmond. Richmond, in one of his last roles before retiring from the screen and re-entering the business world, is best-known as leading man in many 1930s/1940s action films and serials, yet here he is the heavy, and he uses his personal charm to comfort then exploit the young women who are all to eager for a "break." Director William Nigh--whose last film this was and whose credits as director-writer-actor-producer date back to the mid-1910s--keeps the action moving at a brisk pace, but clearly worked with each actor to capture the right tone of performance, so that as "predictable" as the elements of the film may be to the genre-film fan, each character seems real. I first saw this film six or eight years ago and just watched it again, and it's just as solid and riveting as I remember it. Kane Richmond is especially memorable in a rare villain role, and the devoted fan of B-crime films of the 40s (this was a Monogram release) should search for a copy.

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