Fox really has some gems rotting away in its vaults and this is one of them. Vivienne Ware clocks in at just under an hour but is full of thrills. The movie starts out like one of the Thin Man movies would - you have a really bad guy that has no shortage of enemies. In this case the bad guy is slimy Damon Fenwick who believably has attracted the fascination and not so believably the love of wealthy socialite Vivienne Ware (Joan Bennett), to whom he has become engaged. Everybody has a reason to hate this guy - there's attorney John Sutherland (Donald Cook) who is a good guy in love with Vivienne, there's Damon's chorus girl ex-mistress Delores Devine (Lillian Bond) that he threw over for Vivienne, there's club owner Angelo Peroni who keeps shooting Delores and Damon mysterious dirty looks, and finally Vivienne herself when she finds Damon at breakfast with Delores and thus finds out Delores is not such an ex after all.
It's no surprise therefore when Damon turns up dead. The police come knocking at the door of Vivienne in the middle of the night who seems to be packing everything she owns for a long journey - not good if you're a suspect in a murder, which she is. She has a remarkable lack of explanations and alibis, and so she is put on trial for her life with ever loyal John as her attorney. Perennial bad guy over at Warner Bros. Alan Dinehart plays the enthusiastic prosecuting attorney. For comic relief there is Skeets Gallagher as dramatic crime report Graham McNally making radio broadcasts as the trial is in session and he is a real hoot reporting alongside Zasu Pitts as gossip reporter Gladys Fairweather. Graham is charming before the audience, but always has an insult for the long-suffering Gladys every time she takes over the microphone. Full of twists and turns, precode situations and one-liners, I heartily recommend this one.
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