Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mr. Adam's Bomb (Ernest Green Productions, 1949)

by Mark Gabrish Conlan • Copyright © 2012 by Mark Gabrish Conlan • All rights reserved

The movie last night was a weird little race item called Mr. Adam’s Bomb starring Eddie Green (who also directed), Jessie Grayson, Mildred Boyd and Gene Ware — none of whom are identified with their roles on — and it begins with a grandfatherly man who we’re told is the heroine’s father doing a hot jitterbug dance in his apartment with the maid to a record that’s the best thing in the movie, an intense instrumental that’s on the cusp between jazz and R&B, with (seemingly) improvised solos against a grinding, repetitive riff from the other horns. Alas, the avuncular old man (played by the only person in this movie who can actually act!) gets called out by his wife (we presume they’re the parents of the young ingénue leading woman even though she’s supposed to be playing their daughter but looks more like their granddaughter!) and told he shouldn’t be dancing to that awful music. The main plot is the presentation of the daughter’s singing voice at a musicale where the audience, having just heard a great piece of R&B-flavored jazz (or is it the other way around?), is asked to get excited about the daughter singing a boring romantic ballad that could easily have come out of a white sing-along movie of the time (1949). The title comes in because the musicale is also being crashed by a couple of federal agents suspecting Mr. Adam of having built his own nuclear bombs — though the “bomb” turns out to be a metal sphere with an innocuous present for Mr. Adam’s daughter. This was really nothing more than a curiosity; it didn’t even have the hot, infectious music we expect to hear in a movie otherwise this good!