Missing Women


60m 1951

Film Details

Release Date
Feb 23, 1951
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
60m

Synopsis

During their honeymoon, Claudia and Phillip Rankin are approached by two car thieves, Eddie Ennis and Hans Soderling, who kill Phillip. The lecherous Hans forces Claudia to drive off with him, and some time later, slugs her, then leaves her in the car by the side of the road, where she is found by a Good Samaritan, who contacts the police. Later, after homicide lieutenant Kelleher tells her that he believes that the perpetrators belong to a ring of car thieves he is investigating, she recalls hearing the names, "Eddie" and "Hands," which Kelleher thinks might be a nickname. Kelleher shows Claudia the files of Frank and Mae Berringer, a brother-and-sister team now behind bars, and explains that hot car rings often include women, because they attract less attention. Desperate to help find her husband's killers, Claudia gets an idea while looking at Mae's file. After sneaking out of the police station, she goes directly to a dress shop, where she buys a different style of dress. Then in her new clothes, she proceeds to a beauty salon, where she has her hair bleached and restyled. When Claudia, who has introduced herself as "Miss Carter," inadvertently leaves the box of her old clothes behind, the hairdresser, Pierre, puts them aside for her. Now claiming to be Jill Evans, a recent parolee from Mae Berringer's prison, Claudia visits Frank in jail and says that Mae referred her to him, as she needs a quick way to earn money. Frank is impressed by her knowledge of Mae, which she has learned from Mae's file, and sends her to Eddie, who does not recognize her in daylight in her disguise. A baseball fanatic, Eddie invites her to a game, where he will decide whether to trust her. At the stadium Claudia sits between Eddie and an annoying man, Sam, who like Eddie, has season tickets. During the game, Eddie announces he is going to hire her for a trial run, as his partner Hands is in hiding and he is presently short-staffed. By the next day, Claudia's worried parents file a missing persons report and offer a $500 reward. Mike Purnell of the Bureau of Missing Persons does not rule out suicide or amnesia, and sends flyers with her photograph to restaurants and hair salons. Upon receiving a flyer, Pierre recognizes Claudia and tells the police about her new hairstyle and color, and Kelleher recognizes the clothes in the box as those Claudia was wearing when he last saw her. Meanwhile, Eddie is introducing Claudia to the basics of car theft and, as instructed, she distracts a parking attendant while Eddie drives one of the cars off the lot. However, before meeting up with Eddie, Claudia calls the police anonymously to tip them about the theft and the car's license plate number. After the parking attendant describes Claudia to Purnell and the anonymous call is traced to the parking lot's phone, Purnell reports to his boss, Capt. E. W. Willis, that Claudia appears to have helped steal the car and then reported the theft. When Claudia shows up at the rendezvous point, the Brown Jug Restaurant, Eddie introduces Claudia to the boss, Mr. Cincotta. Later, as she and Eddie drive the stolen car away, a policeman sees the plates and stops them. Eddie punches the policeman, then races off, and after evading a motorcycle cop, shows Claudia the garage where stolen cars are disguised before being delivered out of state. Claudia is instructed to meet Eddie the following day to take the stolen car to Arizona. Meanwhile, Kelleher and Purnell figure out that "Hands" is Hans Soderling, a convicted auto thief, and issue an all-points bulletin for his arrest. Pierre alerts Purnell when Claudia returns to the salon, and when Purnell and Kelleher confront her there, she explains how she has found one of her husband's killers, and is close to finding the second. After she positively identifies a mug shot of Hans, they agree to give Claudia twenty-four hours to accomplish her goal. Later, Claudia goes to the Brown Jug, where Mae, recently paroled, is present. Cincotta watches to see if Mae corroborates Claudia's story, which Mae does. However, when the women are alone, Claudia explains that she faked a reference because she needed a job, and the amiable Mae agrees to keep quiet for a cut of Claudia's pay. That evening, while Eddie is attending another baseball game, Sam shows him a copy of Purnell's flyer hoping to get some of the reward money. Shaken, Eddie leaves the game abruptly to see Cincotta. Assuming that Claudia works for the police, they take her to the garage, where Hans, who has been hiding, recognizes her. They then put her in the trunk of a car, intending to drive her out of town, but Purnell and Kelleher show up with other policemen. Cincotta tries to escape in the car, but a gunfight ensues, and the thieves soon surrender. Seeing a piece of her dress hanging out of the closed trunk, Purnell rescues Claudia and tells her they have been following her since she left the salon.

Film Details

Release Date
Feb 23, 1951
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
60m

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film opens with voice-over narration spoken by William Forrest, as his character, "Capt. E. W. Willis," followed by an interior scene with Forrest describing the work of the Bureau of Missing Persons and the case of "Claudia Rankin."