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A Dangerous Profession

A Dangerous Profession(1949)

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teaser A Dangerous Profession (1949)

While shooting The Princess Comes Across (1936) at Paramount early in his career, George Raft complained that cinematographer Ted Tetzlaff was favoring leading lady Carole Lombard over him; Raft quit the production in a huff and was replaced by the more easygoing Fred MacMurray. Over a decade later, Raft and Tetzlaff were able to bury the hatchet to make the Los Angeles crime film A Dangerous Profession (1940) at RKO. As fate would have it, the lead role of Vince Kane, a former cop turned bail bondsman who winds up on the wrong side of the law when he helps an ex-flame (Ella Raines) keep her husband out of prison, was intended for Fred MacMurray! MacMurray had used his own money to option Martin Rackoff's original screenplay, The Bail Bond Racket, and Nicholas Ray was considered to direct, but the vagaries of the film industry compelled MacMurray to sell his option and the production to go to Tetzlaff, fresh from his Oscar-nominated noir The Window (1949). Joining Raft in this at times meandering tale of vice and corruption in the City of Angels is his Broadway (1942) costar Pat O'Brien, cast as Kane's dubious business partner. Both actors were by this time well beyond their respective primes as Warner Brothers stars and thought little of A Dangerous Profession beyond the paycheck. The duo would be reunited on film only once more, in cameo roles in Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot (1959).

By Richard Harland Smith

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