Format: TCM Noir Alley
Director: Lewis Seiler
Eddie sometimes plays fast and loose with what he'll bring to Noir Alley, and Over-Exposed (1956) is definitely on the outer limits of Noir Alley. I mean, it basically follows a story that could appear in many-a-noir as a morality play, but driven by a woman instead of a man, and it doesn't end in a hail of bullets for our protagonist.
This one starts with a clip joint getting knocked over, and Cleo Moore - desperate for work - meeting the aging photographer who took a picture of her as she headed to jail. They hit it off and she decides to pick up the trade. She makes her way to NYC where she struggles off camera for some amount of time before finding success, especially as one of the girls in a sparkly one-piece bathing suit who takes photos in nightclubs. This leads to the fanciest club in town, while she ignores Richard Crenna, a newspaperman who seems like an honest joe. But, man, does he want her to want to throw all of her dreams and security out the window so she can become his little woman.
Of course bad things happen and her meteoric rise as a person who points cameras at people falls apart. Something something photo blackmail racket (don't blackmail people, kids).
This looks very good for what feels like a dopey B picture, mostly existing to show off Cleo Moore in bathing suits and clingy gowns. But there's enough story there for it not to feel cheap. And Cleo Moore is all right. She's good in things I've seen her in, even if she's never exactly bowling me over.
If you're like me and only know sun-beaten older Richard Crenna, the squeaky voiced kid on the screen is almost unrecognizable. But he's all right!
It's a cheesecake picture that's kinda short on cheesecake, but that's ok. Cleo Moore is just fine doing her own acting thing.
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