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Lucky Jordan

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Director  Frank Tuttle
Producer  Fred Kohlmar
Language  English
6.6/10 IMDb

Genre  Comedy, Crime, Drama
Production  Paramount Pictures
Country  United States
Lucky Jordan movie poster
Release date  November 16, 1942 (1942-11-16)
Writer  Darrell Ware (screen play), Karl Tunberg (screen play), Charles Leonard (story)
Cast  Alan Ladd (Lucky Jordan), Helen Walker (Jill Evans), Sheldon Leonard (Slip Moran), Mabel Paige (Annie ('Ma')), Marie McDonald (Pearl), Lloyd Corrigan (Ernest Higgins)
Similar movies  The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Betrayed, Manhattan Mixup, Borsalino, Secret Enemies, The Girl in 419

Lucky Jordan is a 1942 film directed by Frank Tuttle, starring Alan Ladd in his first leading role, Helen Walker in her film debut, and Sheldon Leonard. The screenplay concerns a self-centered gangster who tangles with Nazi spies.


Lucky Jordan movie scenes


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Gangster Lucky Jordan (Alan Ladd) narrowly escapes death at the hands of an assassin hired by his ambitious right hand man, Slip Moran (Sheldon Leonard); his decoy double Eddie is killed instead.

Lucky Jordan Lucky Jordan 1942 Vintage45s Blog

Meanwhile, Lucky has been drafted. His lawyer, Ernest Higgins (Lloyd Corrigan), tries to get him off by giving the orphaned Lucky a "mother" in alcoholic panhandler Annie (Mabel Paige), but the draft board is unconvinced, and he ends up in the army. To avoid work, Lucky lounges in the canteen, where he meets Jill Evans (Helen Walker). He gets found out and is thrown in the stockade, but escapes. To get out of camp, he steals the car and papers of an army engineer.

Lucky Jordan Lucky Jordan

To his puzzlement, two thugs catch up to him on the road and try to rough him up. They leave when Jill drives up. Lucky takes Jill along with him against her will, and they become acquainted. She threatens to throw out Lucky's papers if he does not let her go. Since they are not his, he is unconcerned when she dumps them by the roadside.

Lucky Jordan Lucky Jordan 1942 Frank Tuttle Alan Ladd Helen Walker Sheldon

When Lucky sneaks back into the city, he finds Slip occupying his office. Slip tells him about some foreigners who are paying him plenty of money to sabotage the American war effort. He even takes credit (and payment) for the burning of the SS Normandie, even though he had nothing to do with it. It turns that the two goons Lucky encountered were after papers dealing with secret new tank armor.

Lucky Jordan Lucky Jordan 1942 Movie Review 2020 Movie Reviews

The trio head back to look for the papers. When Lucky finds them, Slip pulls a gun on him. Fortunately, Lucky is able to knock Slip out; Jill persuades him not to kill the helpless Slip.

Lucky Jordan Movie Poster Service

Still, for $50,000, Lucky is willing to pass along the papers. He phones Slip to arrange an exchange. Annie warns him that Slip has set up a trap, and offers to hide him at her place. Lucky is willing to try selling out his country again, but he is spotted by Slip's men. They follow him back to his hideout. While he is out, they beat Annie up, but she tells them nothing. When Lucky gets back, he checks out where he hid the papers; the thugs (who hid in the apartment) knock him out and take them.

From a slim clue, Lucky tracks the spy ring to Kilpatrick Gardens on Long Island. He sneaks around and finds Slip and Kilpatrick (Miles Mander) with the papers. He manages to grab them and race away. All the exits are locked and watched, but when a man who had been taking a public tour of the place demands from a guard the return of an umbrella he left behind, Lucky hides the papers and an explanatory note inside the rolled up umbrella.

Jill, having spotted Lucky, trails him to the gardens, and asks a guard for the use of the telephone to notify the authorities. Instead, he puts her through to Kilpatrick, who masquerades as an FBI agent. Totally deceived, she helps capture Lucky. Herr Kesselman (John Wengraf), the leader of the spies, is disappointed when Lucky, under the mere threat of torture, quickly discloses where he supposedly hid the papers; Kesselman had thought that there were many similarities between Nazis and American gangsters. After most of the spies head off to search, Lucky manages to wrestle away the lone guard's gun. He tells Kesselman he is going to turn over the papers to the government out of new-found patriotism when real FBI agents arrive. Jill tells Lucky he will probably get a medal, but he actually ends up digging a ditch with other army prisoners under the watchful eye of his former drill sergeant (Charles Cane).


  • Alan Ladd as Lucky Jordan
  • Helen Walker as Jill Evans
  • Sheldon Leonard as Slip Moran
  • Mabel Paige as Annie
  • Marie McDonald as Pearl, Lucky's secretary
  • Lloyd Corrigan as Ernest Higgins
  • Dave Willock as Angelo Palacio
  • Russell Hoyt as Eddie
  • John Wengraf as Herr Kesselman
  • Miles Mander as Kilpatrick
  • Clem Bevans as Gas station attendant
  • Anthony Caruso as Hired Gun / Gardener
  • Charles Cane as Sergeant
  • George Meader as Little Man
  • Virginia Brissac as Little Man's Wife
  • Kitty Kelly as Vera Maggotti
  • George Humbert as Joe Maggotti
  • Al Hill as First Killer
  • Fred Kohler, Jr. as Second Killer
  • Production

    The film was based on an original screenplay by Charles Leonard about a gangster who joins the army called Prelude to Glory. Paramount bought it in March 1942 as a vehicle for Alan Ladd. Karl Tunberg and Darrell Ware were put to work rewriting it. It was Ladd's second film since becoming a star and would be the first where he was billed alone above the title.

    Paulette Goddard was announced as Ladd's co-star and Frank Tuttle was assigned to direct. Marie McDonald, who had just signed with Paramount, was given the role of Ladd's secretary.

    Goddard eventually dropped out and her part was taken by Helen Walker. Walker had only arrived in Hollywood a month before being cast; she had been signed by Paramount on the basis of her Broadway success in Jason. This was her first film role.

    Mabel Paige was cast off the back of her success in Young and Willing.

    The movie was retitled Lucky Jordan in July.

    The briefcase used by Alan Ladd in the film is the same briefcase he used as Raven in This Gun for Hire - the actor considered the prop good luck.


    The film broke the house record at New York's Rialto cinema in its first year of release.


    Lucky Jordan Wikipedia
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