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MICKEY ROONEY CAUGHT IN 'QUICKSAND' WITH JEANNE CAGNEY

Title: QUICKSAND Cast: Mickey Rooney, Jeanne Cagney, Peter Lorre Year: 1950 Rates: ****

An epitomizing trait of film noir is... if you take a short cut you'll get in lots more trouble than you started out with, and for that QUICKSAND completely epitomizes noir cinema when a young and cocky, girl-loving mechanic played by Mickey Rooney finds the girl of his... immediate dreams...

And quickly winds up landing a date with this sexy blonde waitress Jeanne Cagney as Vera... but back at the garage he realizes two things: not only does he have no money, but his cohorts... including both workmates and those on the phone who owe him... are all equally broke...

Peter Lorre as Nick in QUICKSAND

From that point QUICKSAND goes in and out of the frying pan into the fire in a string of adventurous misadventures leading Rooney into crimes and misdemeanors from swiping cash from a register to getting a bogus loan to rolling a rich drunk to knocking off local criminal kingpin Peter Lorre's arcade...

And as usual, the bad girl has a connection with the villain since Jeanne Cagney had worked for Lorre... But the shady CASABLANCA icon has very little screen-time, and isn't much of a threat compared to Rooney's original fear of simply looking cheap for his date... which got all the trouble started...

Mickey Rooney in QUICKSAND with Jeanne Cagney

Then there's the good girl... who finally becomes important when the bad girl turns the inevitable table: Enter the cute and equally pathetic love-struck Barbara Bates, who helps Rooney when he's on the run from the law moving in...

All during an action-packed finale that pales to the more intriguing bulwarks leading up as Rooney, turning in a natural performance of cool spontaneity (one of those scripted roles seeming improvised), takes himself and the audience on an endless ride... but the real scene-stealer is femme-fatale light Jeanne Cagney, sister of James Cagney: the only time in a sparse career she can wield big brother's prowess and energy.

Mickey Rooney in QUICKSAND
Mickey Rooney in QUICKSAND with Jeanne Cagney
Mickey Rooney in QUICKSAND with Jeanne Cagney and Peter Lorre
Mickey Rooney in QUICKSAND
Mickey Rooney in QUICKSAND with Jack Elam
Mickey Rooney in QUICKSAND with Jeanne Cagney
Mickey Rooney in QUICKSAND
Mickey Rooney in QUICKSAND with Jeanne Cagney
Mickey Rooney in QUICKSAND with good girl Barbara Bates
Mickey Rooney in QUICKSAND with Barbara Bates


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