Blonde Ice

(1948)

directed by Jack Bernhard, 74 minutes

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A beautiful blonde high-steps her way up the society ladder (and over one dead body at a time) in this fast, cheap and deadly film noir, thought lost for many years but rediscovered. Claire Cummings, a former "$18-a-week steno from a hick town" turned society newspaperwoman, finds herself marrying a wealthy dope, even while she’s kissing her longtime "friend" Les Burns seconds beforehand. ("I'll think about you on my honeymoon," she croons). When her new hubby threatens to cut-off his income to her, it's time to move on to another husband after a few "accidents" are arranged… As the heroine with "ice in her veins, icicles in her heart," Leslie Brooks embodies one of the great noir archetypes, a femme fatale with absolutely zero interest in social mores like love, marriage or most human emotions. Unlike her more famous "colleagues" like Barbara Stanwyck in DOUBLE INDEMNITY, Ann Savage in DETOUR or Jane Greer in OUT OF THE PAST, she plays the game not just with a knife up her sleeve but with a sly grin that lingers in everything she says, all too aware of her charm and men's weakness for it. In BLONDE ICE, manipulating men doesn't just seem horrific. It looks pretty fun! Veteran cinematographer George Robinson, who worked on multiple Universal horror classics (like SON OF DRACULA) gives the film an A-list sheen on a Z-grade budget. - Jason Sanders
Synopsis
Thought lost since the early 1970s, BLONDE ICE tells the bizarre tale of a beautiful society columnist with a desire for money and position that turns her into a serial killer, a story most Hollywood studios of the 1940s wouldn't touch! The tagline, "ice in her veins, icicles in her heart" perfectly describes Claire Cummings as she eagerly seduces rich and powerful men. This little-known film gives new meaning to the phrase "willing victims" and shows what film noir on a tiny budget could look like.

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Top reviewer
TOP REVIEWER
1 member found this review helpful Created 5 months ago. Updated 5 months ago.

Leslie Brooks COULD have been one of the great lady villains in movies if this low-budget noir didn't step so lightly around her psychotic nature. She killed her husband. We KNOW she killed her husband. We see her predatory glares of guilt when the body is found. We also see from the start that she's a nutjob when she's lovey-dovey with another man on the day of her wedding. There's no way that she DIDN'T kill her husband, found dead of a faked self-inflicted gunshot about nineteen minutes into this seventy-four minute wonder. But the film still insists on treating the murder as a mystery. It keeps Brooks's icy-veined blonde at arm's length and, thus, misses the juiciest details of the story in favor of focusing on a bunch of forlorn men vying for her affection. Meanwhile, Leslie Brooks, a bit part player getting a rare shot at a major role, has a great time. She's the saving grace of the movie and puts up a good fight against filmmakers that try to cut her off from the showcase that's rightfully hers.

Created about 2 years ago.

i liked this movie . i love the old thriller black and white moveie.

Created over 2 years ago.

No Double Indemnity but not bad.

Created about 1 month ago.

A really good, nondescript, poverty row "B" film noir . Very comfortable in a 40s double feature at a low end , cheapo theater... I love these movies...

Created 5 months ago.

More twists than a ski run, "Blonde Ice" is a corny 40s noir.

Created 5 months ago.

Great femme fatale. No morals at all. Total slut

Created 9 months ago.

middling noir.

Created 10 months ago.

...worth a watch (or, two/three..;) - well acted - kind of a 'moral' story...

0 of 1 members found this review helpful Created over 1 year ago.

I watched the little known B film BLONDE ICE. Shortly after it started, it began to go out of sync. I like to watch these to help me sleep, but once that happened I had to find out if the whole movie was out of sync. You see, when something is out of sync on digital TV, it remains the same degree of out of sync for however long the program runs. But if this film was out of sync because the editor was too pressed for time to sync up a few scenes, that would be different. If that's what happened when the scene changed it would probably be in sync because the editor had different film and sound stock to match up. If it was out of sync because the master sound wasn't synced up precisely to the image, it would get wildly out of sync. You see, what happens is that a mistake of a fraction of a second in the beginning of syncing sound and film looks maybe off in the beginning but mathematically becomes increasingly off. I forget how much off it can be after an hour, but it's significant. We learned this in film school, but I've never seen it throughout a whole film. This was my big chance, and by the end of the movie, I was hearing sound from scenes that preceded the film by perhaps more than a minute! Trippy.

Created over 1 year ago.

Well-acted story that holds your interest. A stylish look at life in that period. Shows a lot of things that will become de rigeur in crime movies to follow

Created over 1 year ago.

This was a great film noir classic. It was tight, fun and dark. The plot was thin or so transparent there was no mystery. That is the draw back. See through from scene one, it is not in the first rank of noir. I enjoyed it. A great 1940s period film.

Created over 1 year ago.

Little gem. Convoluted at times, but dead on wicked.

Created over 1 year ago.

Time capsule. Low budget but great film-noir. Greed and politics (of love).

Created over 1 year ago.

I like the character because she is ruthless, self absorbed, and using her looks to snag men and increase her standing in society. She's a little like Scarlett O'hara, only not loveable. She's a sociopathic killer-one who acts without feeling for others.

Created over 1 year ago.

Sheer Camp.

Created over 1 year ago.

interesting movie. a little old and predictable

Created almost 2 years ago.

Stock plot.Acting and direction were nothing special.

Created almost 2 years ago.

It was fun to watch.

Created about 2 years ago.

Very good movie.

Created about 2 years ago.

I guess for its time, it was OK.

Created about 2 years ago.

classic film noir! one that isn't on TCM or other network's rotation.

Created about 2 years ago.

Have never seen this film noir before. Interesting making the women the chief villain. Typical of the 1940s, but always entertaining.

Created over 2 years ago.

I love almost any film noir from the 40s. This is no masterpiece but still enjoyable.

Created over 2 years ago.

Nice contrast to contemporary editing and camera styles. The acting is pretty stiff, and the story is OK if a bit implausible. It sounds like it'll be better than it is, but you get an interesting glimpse at a B-movie on-the-cheap noir. Make sure you've seen the classics first!

Created over 2 years ago.

Predictable but a fun view if you like film noir.

Created over 2 years ago.

A smarter version of my ex wife:(

Created over 2 years ago.

very good drama, good plot.

Created over 2 years ago.

Outstanding! A jewel that seemed lost forever returns. A very unusual and stark but amazing film!

Created over 2 years ago.

Fabulous job directing this 40's film ~ great femme fatale depiction! Love it.

Created over 2 years ago.

Oh WOW! It,t Just So Good, Says Bruno In Love!

Top reviewer
TOP REVIEWER
Created over 2 years ago.

Excellent sample of what 1940's film is all about. Glad it was rescued from oblivion.

Created over 2 years ago.

cute.

Created over 2 years ago.

Pretty good!

Created over 2 years ago.

thought it was a little campy but enjoyed it all the same.

Created over 2 years ago.

Great oldie murder flick!

Top reviewer
TOP REVIEWER
Created over 2 years ago.

Very good 1940's film noir in spite of low budget, no "famous" actors, etc. Set in San Francisco, not Los Angeles, for a change. Tight script, good acting. Looking forward to seeing this one over again soon - this time with film buff friends and lots of popcorn.

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