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3 for Jamie Dawn

1956 | 4:3 | Black & White | Quality: Good - rare film with an aged print that shows wear but very watchable

Ricardo Mantalban

Laraine Day

June Havoc, Richard Carlson


Jamie Dawn (marilyn simms) is a wealthy spoiled brat who has regularly runs afoul of the law while facing little consequence for her actions. but when she murders a man in cold blood, she quickly finds herself in hot water and turns to scumbag lawyer Martin Random (Richard Carlson) to get her off. Random sets out to stack the jury in dawn’s favor and focuses on three jurors who all have exploitable situations in their lives. They are financially-destitute George Lorenz (Ricardo Montalban), struggling actress Lorainee Delacourt (June Havoc), and foreign refugee Anton Karek (Edward Franz). Through a tangled web of bribery, blackmail and outright cruel manipulation, Random hopes to force a hung jury. Will Jamie dawn walk free, or will justice prevail?

Just like Harry Keller or RG Springsteen at their beginning, Thomas Carr started his career with Grade Z westerns and almost stayed in the genre till the end; except a couple of features in the late fifties. Here we have what I believe is his best film, THREE FOR JAMIE DAWN, which is a pretty surprising and interesting tale about jury tampering. The real drama of the jury occupies only the last 20 minutes of the film, unlike "Twelve Angry Men" two years later. Here instead you have the entire background of three vulnerable jurors, who reach their final decision after arduous conscience ordeals. The jurors' debate is a great moment as three of them, although consumed with remorse, persist in voting "not guilty" and the film continues to build in intensity and drama until the very end. Several familiar character actors are here, particularly Scotty Beckett as a theater usher, Regis Toomey as Carlson's very gifted actor cohort who can change looks and personalities easily (he even fooled me into not recognizing him when he appeared to Montalban's wife, Laraine Day) and Herb Vigran as an angry juror whom June Havoc actually slaps!

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