DESTINATION MURDER. RKO Radio Pictures, 1950. Joyce Mackenzie, Stanley Clements, Hurd Hatfield, Albert Dekker, Myrna Dell, James Flavin, John Dehner, Suzette Harbin, Franklyn Farnum. Story & screenplay: Don Martin. Director: Edward L. Cahn. Streaming online here at the Internet Archive.

   When her father is killed in his doorway by a messenger boy, a young woman (Joyce Mackenzie) thinks that the police are working too slowly on the case, and she decides to some detective work on her own. Feeling the cops aren’t showing enough interest in the fellow she picked out of a police lineup, she begins a phony romance with him.

   This leads to her getting a job as a hatcheck girl at the club run by a known gangster (Albert Dekker), which of course gets her into even more danger, not to mention yet another romantic entanglement, this time with the club’s manager (Hurd Hatfield). Even though the movie is only 70 minutes long, this short summary includes only the minimum of the story line, not including a tremendous twist about two-thirds of the way through.

   And I do have to mention the brassy blonde presence of Myrna Dell as the gangster’s girl, or so he thinks. She definitely has different ideas about that.

   Joyce MacKenzie, a new face to me, is a brunette in the Jane Wyatt or Barbara Hale mode, while Stanly Clement as a wise-ass but mostly dopey killer-for-hire, went on to lead the Bowery Boys after Leo Gorcey retired. He was probably typecast in many other similar roles.

   The ending falls a bit flat, or so it seemed to me, but otherwise the players all had some name value and turned in more than adequate performances. No weak links in this one.

   The film itself is sometimes lumped into the film noir category, but if so, it’s only marginally. It’s a straight forward detective thriller in the nightclub and other nightlife vein, and for the time, it was (and is) one of the better ones.