Flaxy Martin

Flaxy Martin is a 1949 film noir directed by Richard L. Bare. The crime thriller features Virginia Mayo, Zachary Scott, Elisha Cook Jr., Dorothy Malone, and Douglas Kennedy. The picture was based on a story written by David Lang.[1]

Flaxy Martin
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRichard L. Bare
Produced bySaul Elkins
Screenplay byDavid Lang
StarringVirginia Mayo
Zachary Scott
Dorothy Malone
Music byWilliam Lava
CinematographyCarl Guthrie
Edited byFrank Magee
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • February 15, 1949 (1949-02-15) (United States)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited States

The film tells of mob lawyer Walter Colby (Zachary Scott), whose involvement with a crime syndicate and a femme fatale (Mayo) get him in trouble.


The drama begins with a murder and a screaming witness. The witness to the crime tells the police that she can identify the murderer and will never forget his face. Mob attorney Walter Colby (Scott) is called by crime boss Hap Richie (Douglas Kennedy) in the middle of the night to arrange the release of Caesar (Jack Overman), one of his mobsters arrested for the murder. After Colby does so he tells his girlfriend, the unscrupulous mob-connected showgirl Flaxy Martin (Mayo), that he wants to quit the organization and become respectable.

Meanwhile, the syndicate arranges for Peggy Farrar (Helen Westcott) to falsely testify on behalf of Caesar. After Caesar is cleared of the charges, however, she changes her mind. Flaxy and Caesar go visit Peggy at her apartment to force her into silence, and Caesar ends up killing her.

Due to circumstantial evidence, Flaxy is suspected of murdering Peggy. Not realizing her involvement in the killing, Colby tells the police that he did it, his plan being to defend himself so well that he gets both himself and Flaxy off. Unfortunately, Flaxy and Hap Richie set him up during the trial and Colby is sentenced for Peggy's murder. As Colby awaits transportation to prison, Sam Malko (Tom D'Andrea), a friend of Colby and a former client, tells him that Caesar had been getting drunk and bragging that Colby was sentenced for a killing (the murder of Peggy) that he (Caesar) committed. Sam wonders why Flaxy was not helping Colby since she must know the same information.

On his way to prison to serve 20 years, Colby escapes and when he gets to the highway he passes out in front of motorist Nora Carson (Malone). Nora helps Colby get to the city to find out how he was framed. Colby realizes that Flaxy was not the woman she pretended to be.

In the city Colby finds Caesar dead. He later ends up in Flaxy's apartment as mobster Hap Richie arrives. She pulls the gun on both men and, as she shoots wildly in the dark, Flaxy kills Hap. Colby calls the police and they arrest Flaxy for the murder of Hap.



Critic Hal Erickson lauded the film director, writing, "Director Richard L. Bare had only recently moved up from the "Joe McDoakes" comedy shorts to features when he guided Flaxy Martin with skill and aplomb."[2]


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