Confessions of a Vice Baron

Overview

Confessions of a Vice Baron was one of those independent exploitation films of the 1930s: promising much, delivering little. Willy Castello stars as the head of a vice ring, consisting of conservatively dressed B-girls and wild-eyed marijuana and cocaine freaks. Setting this apart from other schlock of its ilk is that Castello is a genuine gangster, albeit "reformed." As for the film's quality...well, it isn't quite as subtle as Reefer Madness. Filmed in 1937, Confessions of a Vice Baron didn't make the rounds ...
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Overview

Confessions of a Vice Baron was one of those independent exploitation films of the 1930s: promising much, delivering little. Willy Castello stars as the head of a vice ring, consisting of conservatively dressed B-girls and wild-eyed marijuana and cocaine freaks. Setting this apart from other schlock of its ilk is that Castello is a genuine gangster, albeit "reformed." As for the film's quality...well, it isn't quite as subtle as Reefer Madness. Filmed in 1937, Confessions of a Vice Baron didn't make the rounds until the early 1940s.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
If most of the sequences that make up Confessions of a Vice Baron seem overly familiar, there is one perfectly natural reason: You've probably seen them before. Yes, that schlockmeister extraordinaire Willis Kent took his most famous "creation," the darkly villainous Lucky Lombardo (Willy Castello), and filmed six minutes of footage of the erstwhile racketeer explaining his previous life of crime to an unbilled warden. The flashbacks consist of footage from the earlier The Pace That Kills, The Wages of Sin, Smashing the Vice Trust (a Lombardo favorite), Race Suicide, Mad Youth, and Souls in Pawn -- in other words, a lineup of classic exploitation potboilers that only missed Reefer Madness due to the fact that this infamous epic was owned by someone else. Castello had appeared in most of them (albeit playing different characters, a fact that was explained by the "necessary changing of aliases") opposite a veritable who's who of Hollywood has-beens that included Betty Compson, Clara Kimball Young, Noel Madison, and Lloyd Ingraham. The result is a sort of very-best-of exploitation thrillers presented with little or no rhyme or reason. The new footage is alarmingly poor; a rather paunchy Castello has not weathered the years all that well and the actor playing the warden is downright embarrassing, flubbing even the simplest of lines. The film ends with the following heartfelt plea from a chastened Lombardo: "let my fate be a warning to you that crime doesn't pay!" Amazingly, this amateurish potpourri turned up a third time six years later under the rather generic title of Skid Row.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/21/2004
  • UPC: 089218459893
  • Original Release: 1942
  • Rating:

  • Source: Alpha Video
  • Presentation: B&W
  • Time: 59:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 62,573

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Willy Castello
Technical Credits
Harvey Thew Director
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
2. Chapter 1 [9:45]
3. Chapter 2 [9:52]
4. Chapter 3 [10:04]
5. Chapter 4 [10:27]
6. Chapter 5 [11:48]
7. Chapter 6 [6:53]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Chapter Index
   Catalog
   Coming Attractions
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