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Blonde Ice

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Blonde Ice

Blonde Ice
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jack Bernhard
Produced by Martin Mooney
Screenplay by Kenneth Gamet
Based on the novel Once Too Often 
by Whitman Chambers
Starring Leslie Brooks
Robert Paige
Music by Irving Gertz
Cinematography George Robinson
Edited by W.L. Bagier
Jason H. Bernie
Martin Mooney Productions
Distributed by Film Classics
Release dates
  • May 20, 1948 (1948-05-20)
Running time 73 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Blonde Ice is a 1948 American crime film noir directed by Jack Bernhard and starring Leslie Brooks, Robert Paige and Michael Whalen. It was based on the 1938 novel Once Too Often by Whitman Chambers.[1]

Some sources falsely state that much acclaimed B movie director Edgar G. Ulmer was the uncredited original screenwriter of Blonde Ice. Ulmer claimed in 1970 that shortly after the release of Double Indemnity in 1944 he wrote a rip-off script with the working title Single Indemnity for film producer Sigmund Neufeld. He erroneously believed that Neufeld's film was finally released under the title Blonde Ice.[2] However, Blonde Ice was neither produced by Neufeld nor does its plot resemble that of Double Indemnity. The film Ulmer was actually referring to is obviously Apology for Murder from 1945.


Claire (Leslie Brooks) is a society reporter who will do whatever she has to for a story. Claire manages to keep herself in the headlines by marrying and romancing a series of wealthy men, all of whom die under mysterious circumstances. To deflect suspicion from herself, Claire frames her former boyfriend, sportswriter Les Burns.


  • Robert Paige as Les Burns
  • Leslie Brooks as Claire Cummings Hanneman
  • Russ Vincent as Blackie Talon, the Pilot
  • Michael Whalen as Stanley Mason, Attorney
  • James Griffith as Al Herrick
  • Emory Parnell as Police Capt. Bill Murdock
  • Walter Sande as Hack Doyle
  • John Holland as Carl Hanneman
  • Mildred Coles as June Taylor
  • Selmer Jackson as District Attorney Ed Chalmers
  • David Leonard as Dr. Geoffrey Kippinger


Critical response

Film critic Dennis Schwartz called the film a "minor film noir." He wrote, "A minor film noir about a cold-hearted femme fatale who is capable of not only deceit but of murder. It's a precursor to the more hardboiled neonoir films of today. Jack Bernhard directs a film that is based on a Whitney Chambers story, and allows the storyline to remain an oddity because of how ruthlessly cold and insane the femme fatale character played by Leslie Brooks is presented."[3]

Critic Gary Johnson discussed the production and the story line in his review, "The acting is merely adequate and the direction is severely hampered by the low budget (although director Jack Bernhard and cameraman George Robinson do manage a few surprising camera angles). But the screenplay is a deliciously nasty and audacious exposé on the twisted psyche of a truly lethal femme fatale. Claire Cummings is a gold digger with no conscience whatsoever. She's out for herself and if anyone gets in the way, well ... she packs a revolver and a sharp knife. Claire Cummings is one of the most deadly femme fatales is the history of film noir, easily fitting alongside such other brutal dames as Phyllis Dietrichson from Double Indemnity, Kathie Moffat from Out of the Past, Annie Laurie Starr from Gun Crazy, and Vera from Edgar G. Ulmer's own Detour.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Blonde Ice at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  2. ^ Peter Bogdanovich Who The Devil Made It: Conversations with Legendary Film Directors, 1997. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-679-44706-7.
  3. ^ Schwartz, Dennis. Ozus' World Movie Reviews, film review, October 13, 2002. Accessed: July 23, 2013.
  4. ^ Johnson, Gary. Images Journal, film review, 2003. Accessed: July 23, 2013.

External links

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