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Still trading on her famous married name -- although she and Charles Chaplin had been divorced since 1927 -- Lita Grey Chaplin returned to films after an 18-year absence in this wretched exploitation melodrama produced by that redoubtable shlock-meister George Weiss. Chaplin played a lady judge whose daughter (Tracy Lynne) gets hooked on "nitro-phenol" at nasty Timothy Farrell's "gym." Determining that "uppers" are behind all of he ills afflicting today's teenagers, Judge Chaplin says things such as: "everyone rushing nowhere, to get nowhere, and for no reason. Fast planes, fast cars. It's a fast life, Inspector." The Inspector to whom she is referring is Det. Sgt. Dave Kerrigan (William Thomason), who joins the judge in her crusade. Released as a road show attraction, The Devil's Sleep came complete with colorful poster art and slogans such as: "Todays Moral Menace! Daring exposť of the devil drug traffic in 'bennies,' 'goofies,' and 'phenos' as it really exists." The film also featured yet another ex-wife of a famous comedian, Mildred Davis (Lloyd), and, rather incongruously, George Eiferman, "Mr. America of 1948." A typical uncouth Poverty Row entrepreneur, George Weiss was portrayed as such, memorably, by actor Mike Starr in Ed Wood (1994).

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ALP4722 Devil's Sleep DVD (1951/Lita Grey Chaplin) $5.99