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The Manhattan of the 1950s is a glittering cafe society of soaring skyscrapers and plush penthouse dreams. Below the clouds, the masses jaunt though the traffic in a symphony of Post-WWII city life. Three confidence men, Benny (Dick Haymes), Monk (Lionel Stander) and Mathew (Roland Young) find themselves on the run from the law. The trio pose as priests and are coerced into fixing up a dilapidated Bowery mission by the watchful Reverend Wilbur (Freddie Bartholomew) and Irish Catholic Police Sergeant Monahan (William A. Lee). Benny falls for an immigrant's daughter Linda (Nina Foch), while Mathew decides that he prefers the life of a priest to that of a thief. In St. Benny The Dip master director Edgar G. Ulmer calls on his experience working on the operatic pageants of Max Reinhart and F.W. Murnau and the realist street movies of Berlin of the 1920s and 30s. Fusing these two radically different styles in a way that only the cinema can, Ulmer further draws on his talent for Yiddish Comedy and slapstick ethnic entertainments. The result is a frothy fable infused with a knowing European glamour, pulsing with the fresh verve of the United States. Featuring captivating performances by Nina Foch and Topper's Roland Young, St. Benny the Dip is a sterling after-dinner treat.

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ALP4933 St. Benny the Dip DVD (1949/Edgar G Ulmer) $5.99