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Frank Patton is the promoter of the Lucky Legs Contest. The problem is that he always skips town before paying the $1000 to the winner. Mr. Bradbury, suitor of Cloverdale winner Margie, hires intoxicated Perry Mason to find Frank. Perry knows the scheme that Patton is using and has Spudsy find him, but Frank is dead when Perry arrives. The how is a surgeons scalpel, but the who is not yet known. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
THE CASE OF THE LUCKY LEGS (1935) is a delightful entry into the Warren William "Perry Mason" series. It's a breezy murder-mystery that's full of silliness. William is great as the unorthodox attorney and Genevieve Tobin is simply wonderful as his trusty secretary Della Street.
William brings levity to the Perry Mason character, pulling the strings and solving the case while having a blast. Tobin is a comedic revelation in her turn as Della Street. Her performance is flirty and witty and daffy and hilarious as she handles Mason's office while he's away. Tobin is a great comedienne, and lovely, too. (She calls to mind that other great comedienne, Joan Blondell. Something around the eyes, I think.) Each "Perry Mason" film brought a new actress to play Della Street opposite Warren William, but Tobin really makes an impression in this entry.
The mystery starts with a "Lucky Legs" competition racket and soon involves a murder and several suspects. Pretty young Warner Bros. contract player Patricia Ellis plays the latest winner of the "nicest legs" scam, who (along with doctor boyfriend Lyle Talbot) might be the murderer in question. Perry Mason is on the case, along with his associate on the street, Spudsy (Allen Jenkins). The supporting cast also includes familiar faces like Porter Hall, Olin Howland, Barton MacLane, and Henry O'Neill.
With the plot built around a "nicest legs" competition, you can bet there'll be a lot of gams on display and Warner Bros. does not disappoint. The opening scene at the Lucky Legs finals features a parade of anonymous shapely limbs. Perry Mason is even shown Ellis's neck-down contest submission photo, allowing him to later identify the girl by her $1000 legs.
THE CASE OF THE LUCKY LEGS is a quick murder-mystery programmer, but the writing and the performances are so much fun that I couldn't help but give the movie a 7/10.
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