Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Lewis Seiler|
|Produced by||Lewis J. Rachmil|
|Screenplay by||James Gunn|
|Story by||Richard Sale|
|Edited by||Edwin H. Bryant|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
This film was released on DVD by Sony Pictures in 2010 as part of the Bad Girls of Film Noir Volume II collection.
Ambitious and vivacious Lily Krenshka is new in town, and is arrested for soliciting drinks and rolling drunks. She is told by the police to take the next bus out of town. Lily asks photographer Max West not to print her arrest photo. He offers to pay her for swimsuit poses, and, never one to overlook an opportunity, she learns the art of photography from him. After a while, she sets out for New York to start a new career, changing her name to Lila Crane at Max's suggestion.
A chance meeting with reporter Russ Bassett leads to an introduction to nightclub owner Les Bauer, who employs Lila as a 'flash girl' to take pictures at the club. A newspaper gossip-columnist, Roy Carver, surreptitiously offers to pay her $5 for candid shots of important guests. She agrees to, but negotiates a $10 price.
After Lila gets a photo of Horace Sutherland, an attorney known for his gangster clientele, together with his mistress, Lila essentially extorts him for a job at 'Club Coco', a new fancy nightclub with 'more important' patrons. After flattering high-society maven Mrs. Payton Grange, a former client of West, with a good rare photo, Lila's exclusive makes a name for herself as a photographer. She quickly becomes well-known and well-paid, acquiring her own clients and contracts, and resisting Russ's offer to get her a steady, respectable job with his news-agency employer. She's so busy, she brings in Max to be her assistant. She and Russ develop a relationship, but he's not happy about her drive for fame and money, seemingly at all costs.
Things begin go downhill. Russ plans to leave for Europe, after she rejects his proposal of marriage. Then, one evening Ms. Grange dies on the dance floor at 'Club Coco', and a picture Lila managed to take of her, collapsing, is stolen by Carver and published, sullying Lila with her club boss, who fires her, West, and most of her other clients.
Lila, desperate, then shows Sutherland an incriminating photo she had earlier accidentally taken of his boss and a rival crime boss one evening at the club, who was murdered later that night. She offers to sell it to Sutherland for $25,000. She ends up kidnapped and held captive in a warehouse, with Russ her one and only chance for a rescue and a fresh start.