Cast & Crew
Lili St. Cyr
When Mike Marble, younger brother of renowned Miami gambler Vic Marble, is shot and killed, Vic vows revenge. State attorney Gilbert Emony, who was using Mike as an informant on the gaming racket, asks his right-hand man, Max, to look into Mike's murder. Vic, convinced that Emony is corrupt and was involved in Mike's killing, promises Mike's widow Lynn that he will ruin Emony. Lynn pleads with Vic not to get involved and cautions him about the Colonel, his longtime friend and henchman. Unknown to Emony, Max is on Vic's payroll and Vic demands he provide him with inside information on the attorney's actions. That evening, Vic stops in at his nightclub, Frolics, where he notices a new stripper, Josette, and also notes Emony, who has visited the club twice within a week. Vic then accuses his business partner, Chenko, of trying to cheat him out of several thousand dollars of the club's profit, but Chenko insists that Mike was responsible for delivering the money to Vic. Later, Vic hatches a plan to use Emony's interest in Josette, and asks her to allow him to build her up as a big star and changes her name to Lili St. Cyr. Believing that Vic is personally interested in her, Josette hesitates, but when assured by Vic's detached manner, she accepts. Over the next few weeks, Vic has Josette groomed as a new performing sensation from France and then arranges for her to open at the city's most popular club, Copacity. "Lili" is a hit and Emony sees the show often. Vic asks Josette to become friendly with Emony in order to learn any details of Mike's murder. Meanwhile, Max tries to find out about Vic's activities through Lynn, but Lynn refuses to cooperate. When Max accuses Lynn of secretly being in love with Vic, she reluctantly gives him a small code book she found among Mike's personal effects. Unsure of Vic's ultimate intentions and also wary of Emony's attentions, Josette keeps the attorney at arm's length. Upon learning that Max has the code book, the Colonel demands that he return it. When Max fails to return the book, the Colonel pushes him to his death and later suggests to Vic that it was a suicide. Distraught over the continued violence, Lynn tells Vic that she is leaving town. Vic then confides to Josette his plan use her to lure Emony to a private place and blackmail him into leaving the state by framing him for Mike's murder. Josette hesitantly agrees to invite Emony to her house, assured that the Colonel will be nearby to deal with Emony. Later, Lynn contacts Vic, who is on his way to Josette's. Lynn reveals that before his death, Max had returned the decoded book to her as it detailed the Colonel's method of siphoning money from Vic's business. Realizing the Colonel murdered both Mike and Max for taking the code book, Vic asks Lynn to meet him at Josette's. As Vic examines the book outside the house, Emony meets Josette inside. Vic then enters and accuses the Colonel of betrayal. In the ensuing shootout, the Colonel is killed and Vic wounded. As Emony summons an ambulance and the police, Vic explains that the Colonel was behind Mike and Max's killings. Emony declares Vic's gambling clubs must be closed, but promises him a fair trial.
Lili St. Cyr
Danny Di Minno
Laurence S. Liebson
Chas. S. Rawson
According to dialogue continuity deposited at NYSA, the film was copyrighted in 1953 by Miami Productions, Inc., but it was not registered for copyright. The continuity also contained the following acknowledgment: "Grateful acknowledgement is made of the cooperation received from Mrs. Malvine Alvine of Miami Beach." According to information contained in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, in October 1954 the PCA reviewed the completed film at the request of Republic Pictures. Upon advising Republic that the film contained numerous dance sequences that were unacceptable "by reason of the costume and dance motion," Republic executive Lindsley Parsons responded that he was acting for a third party regarding the film and hoped that offering to re-shoot the offending portions of the film might make it acceptable to the PCA.
A memo dated January 1955 indicated that Republic had dropped all interest in the film. In August 1956, J. Raymond Bell of Columbia Pictures submitted Josette of New Orleans to the PCA, which repeated several recommendations for cutting the offensive dance sequences. By November 1956 the requested edits had been made and the film was approved by the PCA in February 1957. There is no indication that Columbia was at any time considering distribution of the film. Correspondence regarding the issuing of the PCA certificate in 1957 was with producer Irving Weisner and Miami Productions.