“Abandoned” (1949) starring: Dennis O’Keefe, Gale Storm, Jeff Chandler, Raymond Burr with Mike Mazurki / Z-View

Abandoned (1949)

Director: Joseph M. Newman

Screenplay by: Irwin Gielgud, William Bowers (additional dialogue)

Starring: Dennis O’Keefe, Gale Storm, Jeff Chandler, Raymond Burr, Jeanette Nolan, Steve Darrell, Frank Cady and Mike Mazurki.

Tagline:  NO NAME FOR HER BABY…only a PRICE! 

The Story:

Paula Considine (Storm) goes to L.A. in search of her missing sister.  Her sister left their small town because she was pregnant and not married.  It’s late when she arrives at the missing person’s bureau.  There she meets Mark Sitko (O’Keefe), a newspaper reporter.  When Sitko notices a shady character following Paula, he intervenes.  Soon Sitko and Paula discover that Paula’s sister was murdered and her baby stolen by child traffickers.  As they dig deeper, Sitko and Paula become marked for murder!

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

The film uses a semi-documentary style popular at the time.

Gale Storm had been making movies for close to a decade when she got the co-starring role in Abandoned.  A few years later Ms. Storm would become a tv star in her own series, My Little Margie which ran for four seasons.  She followed that with another starring television role in The Gale Storm Show: Oh! Susanna.  It also ran for four seasons.

Jeff Chandler has a supporting role.  He would soon break out into leading roles.

Raymond Burr is cast as a heavy.  He played a lot of those type roles in those days because he was good at it.  Mr. Burr would go on to become a bigger star playing a good guy.  Perry Mason ran for 9 seasons, earned Raymond Burr two Best Actor in a Leading Role Emmys and earned him world-wide fame.Years after Perry Mason went off the air, it returned with Mr. Burr starring in 26 television movies.

Mike Mazurki appears as a thug which was par for the course.  I love it when Mazurki appears in any production.  He had an interesting life.  Mr. Mazurki played football and basketball in college and professionally,  He earned a law degree from Fordham.  Then he decided to become a professional wrestler because he could earn more money!  He also worked as a bodyguard before being discovered and cast in movies.

Abandoned was ahead of it’s time.  The topic of black-market babies and child trafficking could be pulled from today’s headlines.  The film also faced aspects being censored.  Still, if you read between the lines it becomes pretty clear that Paula’s dad was probably the baby’s father.