Jail Bait (1954)

Jail Bait (1954) movie poster

director Ed Wood, Jr.
viewed: 09/04/2015

This movie isn’t about what you probably think it’s about.  The Jail Bait of this Ed Wood, Jr. film noir is a gun and not an under-age child.  But it is Ed Wood, the real deal, though it’s not quite as hilariously bad as most of Wood’s pictures.  Some attribute this to the fact that he co-wrote it with Alex Gordon, tempering to some extent Wood’s flair with dialog.

A young man with a gun.  Even with an older sister (Dolores Fuller) and a well-respected doctor father (Herbert Rawlinson), he heads off down the wrong path.  He takes up with a real bad guy and goes on a heist where he winds up killing a watchman.  Oh, things look bleak.

I won’t try to detail the whole of the story, but the key twist in the film is one regarding plastic surgery and is hilariously campy as all those old early imaginings of plastic surgery in which people get brand new faces and look exactly like someone else!

Gotta hand it to Ed Wood.  He gets in a few awful turns of phrase and some wooden silliness, true to form.

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