"Dangerous Corner" transfers J. B. Priestley's talkathon stage whodunit (or "howdunit") to the screen with a handsome cast and slightly expanded environment (from a single large room to three different rooms and a patio). The play suggested that the little dishonesties of everyday social life are preferable to unabashed truth telling, which if unhindered would cause mayhem and suffering. The problem with the original play was that it was populated by an after- dinner gathering of undistinguished characters (partners in a publishing firm and their spouses) conversing endlessly about whether one of their colleagues stole a sum of money before committing suicide one year previously. As the individuals speculate dryly on this past event, certain revelations come to the surface that expose each one of them to the group as deeply dishonest on some level. The concept and execution are mildly interesting at best, rather like a Noel Coward drawing room play minus the wit and humor. At his best, Priestley wrote beautifully about ordinary people but was also fascinated by paranormal theories of Time. He plays with Time a bit here too, in ways I won't detail, in order to explore what might have happened had certain people kept their mouths shut. Conrad Nagel and Virginia Bruce, previously paired in "Kongo," try their best, as do Erin O'Brien Moore, Doris Lloyd, Betty Furness and others, but the results are never more than mild. Ian Keith, who plays the dead man in flashback, has the most colorful role but the production code enforcement which took effect the year this film was made cannot refer to his drug addiction, so he comes off as just wacky.
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