NO PLACE TO LAND. Republic Pictures, 1958. John Ireland, Mari Blanchard, Gail Russell, Jackie Coogan, Robert Middleton. Produced & directed by Albert C. Gannaway.

   The cast of this little known noir film is ultra fine, the story is OK, but the problem is — although it does have its moments — the filming leaves a lot to be desired, to put it mildly. Produced late in Republic Films’ existence, the budget was tight, and it shows.

   It begins by focusing in on the swiveling gyrations of Mari Blancherd’s hips as she dances to the sound of a jukebox in a low-rent dive in the heart of produce country. Spurned by ace cropduster John Ireland, her character impulsively marries landowner Robert Middleton, which she regents immediately. Overweight, ugly and insanely jealous, Middleton is a petty villain without many equals.

   It is Ireland she continues to lust for, in spite of the marriage license now in her name. Fleeing her amorous advances (and wishing to avoid a confrontation with Middleton), Ireland finds a job on another farm quickly, and almost as quickly takes up with Gail Russell, the wife of its owner, who spends most of his time working off a drunk — or building up to one.

   You may thing this is enough of a plot, but there is more. Ireland’s assistant, Jackie Coogan, is injured saving their plane while in the air, and the diagnosis is not good. He will be blind in two months, the doctor says.

   It’s quite a mixture of story lines, the most prominent portion of which is Mari Blanchard’s role as one of the most fatal of femme fatales you will ever see this early in film history — bedding and romancing everyone in this film with pants on — or off, as the case may be — except for Ireland, who refuses her, and Middleton, whom she refuses, even though she married him. Before the story ends, more than one person will have died as a result.

   It’s quite a tale, and only its low budget production values keeps me from recommending it completely and totally. Of especial note is Gail Russell’s low key but still very effective appearance in this film. She was to make but one more movie before her untimely death. What a beautiful and talented actress she was!