Lucky Jordan


1h 24m 1942

Brief Synopsis

A racketeer struggles to adjust to military life after he's drafted.

Film Details

Also Known As
Lucky Gordon, Prelude to Glory
Genre
Adventure
Crime
Release Date
Jan 1942
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 25 Jan 1943
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Prelude to Glory" by Charles Leonard in SEP (publication undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,519ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

New York racketeer Lucky Jordan is drafted into the army despite all his underhanded efforts to stay out. Lucky shirks his duties and spends most of his time in the canteen until Jill Evans, who works at the canteen, reports him as absent without leave and he is thrown into the penitentiary. When Lucky's lawyer, Ernest Higgins, informs him that he has been unable to get him a desk job, Lucky breaks out of the camp and commandeers a car. Two thugs cross his path and try to steal the briefcase in the car, but they escape after their struggle with Lucky is interrupted by the arrival of Jill. Lucky then kidnaps Jill and eventually returns to his office in the city, where he finds that his former underling, Slip Moran, has taken over. Slip is only interested in the briefcase that Jill tossed out of the car, and reveals that he has made a deal to sell the tank plans contained in the briefcase to the enemy. Lucky, Slip and Jill return to the country road and find the briefcase. After Lucky preempts Slip's murder attempt by knocking him out, Jill prevents Lucky from killing Slip. Later that night, Jill tries to stir up Lucky's patriotism so that he will return the plans to the army, but he is resistant, so she resorts to her feminine wiles to distract him and escapes. Lucky retains the plans, however, and returns to the city to make a deal with Slip. Lucky goes into hiding with Annie, an elderly panhandler who had impersonated his mother for the draft board, and who has discovered that she likes being a "mom." Lucky strikes a deal with Slip for the plans, but Slip's thugs track Lucky to Annie's tenement apartment, and while Lucky is gone, they beat Annie in order to find the briefcase. Lucky returns and comforts Annie, but the thugs still lurk in the apartment and attack him and get the briefcase. Lucky learns from his former secretary, Pearl, that Slip recently made a deal for a type of tulip called the "Torch of Holland." Lucky tracks the flower to the private Kilpatrick Gardens on Long Island and sees Slip and Kilpatrick in the greenhouse making arrangements for the plans. Lucky turns on the sprinklers, grabs the plans and, after a chase, hides them, with instructions to contact the F.B.I., in the umbrella of a visiting patron. Jill, who has been following Lucky, captures him in the Kilpatrick house but is shocked when she learns that Kilpatrick is not a patriot, but a German agent named Kesselman. Lucky is beaten and sends Kilpatrick searching for the plans on his grounds. While Kilpatrick declares the virtues of the Nazis, Jill distracts the armed gardener and with Lucky, overwhelms their captors. Just as Lucky, who has announced his intentions to return the plans, is preparing to shoot the criminals, F.B.I. agents arrive and arrest everyone, including Lucky. For his efforts, Lucky is allowed to return to the army and serve his time in the penitentiary.

Cast

Alan Ladd

Lucky Jordan

Helen Walker

Jill Evans

Sheldon Leonard

Slip Moran

Mabel Paige

Annie

Marie Mcdonald

Redhead

Lloyd Corrigan

Ernest Higgins

Russell Hoyt

Eddie

Dave Willock

Angelo Palacio

Miles Mander

Kilpatrick

John Wengraf

Kesselman, also known as Kilpatrick

Charles Cane

Sergeant

George F. Meader

Little man

Virginia Brissac

Woman with little man

Al M. Hill

First killer

Fred Kohler Jr.

Second killer

Jack Roberts

Johnny

Clem Bevans

Gas station attendant

Olaf Hytten

Charles, servant

William Halligan

Miller, the gateman

Kitty Kelly

Mrs. Maggotti

George Humbert

Mr. Maggotti

Dorothy Dandridge

Maid at Hollyhock School

Paul Phillips

First stick-up man

Joseph Downing

Second stick-up man

Danny Duncan

Clerk in cigar store

Carol Hughes

Girl in back room

Ralph Dunn

Army guard

Lyle Latell

Army guard

Kenneth Chryst

Sergeant

Edwin Miller

Officer

Edythe Elliott

Private secretary

John Harmon

Mug with big ears

Jimmy O'gatty

Mug

John Hamilton

Colonel

Roy Gordon

Colonel

Albert Ferris

Gardener

Crane Whitley

Gardener

Kirk Alyn

Redhead's boyfriend

Frederick Giermann

Bulky gardener

Arthur Loft

Hearndon

Frank Benson

Cab driver

Ronnie Rondell

Florist

Terry Ray

Sentry

Elliott Sullivan

Soldier

Bud Mctaggart

Soldier

Keith Richards

Soldier

Sara Berner

Helen

William Forrest

Commanding officer

Paul Stanton

Draft official

Anthony Caruso

Gunman

Georgia Backus

Saleslady in toy shop

Harold Minjir

Clerk in flower shop

Edward Earle

Jack Baxley

Virginia Farmer

Ethel Clayton

Marcella Phillips

Alice Kirby

Yvonne Decarlo

Film Details

Also Known As
Lucky Gordon, Prelude to Glory
Genre
Adventure
Crime
Release Date
Jan 1942
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 25 Jan 1943
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Prelude to Glory" by Charles Leonard in SEP (publication undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,519ft (9 reels)

Quotes

'Til I ran up against you, Nazi was just a word in the newspaper to me. Now it's another way to spell cockroach.
- Lucky Jordan

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were Prelude to Glory and Lucky Gordon. Alan Ladd received "above title" billing for the first time in this picture. Warner Bros. loaned composer Adolph Deutsch for this film.