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William A. Seiter
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Haworth is a show biz producer who has a number of ex-girlfriends that he has beaten over the years. He is now engaged to two girls- Lisa and Trenna. After drinking and starting a fight with Sim, Haworth is found dead in his apartment. Everyone has a reason to kill him, but most of the blame is falling on Sim and his love Trenna. If they are to be cleared, it is up to Aunt Melissa to find the killer - and she thinks she knows who is was. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
pretty predictable but well-made fare from the mid 1930s
This is a pretty ordinary mystery movie starring Ricardo Cortez (a Jewish man, by the way, despite his Hispanic name). Cortez is inexplicably in love with a big-headed actress who doesn't seem worth loving. She is just too stuck on herself and mistreats poor Cortez--rejecting his marriage proposal and accepting the proposal of a sleazy cad producer. The problem is she KNOWS this other man is a sleazy cad and yet she STILL insists this dirt-bag won't marry his fiancée but her instead--leaving Cortez all alone (sniff, sniff). All this is in the early setup of the film and I frankly didn't care if this woman actually killed the producer--I was more than happy to see her convicted just because she was annoying and shallow. This part is by far the weakest part of the film since the lady just wasn't all too sympathetic AND you really wanted Cortez to wash his hands of her. However, Cortez is a sap and so he tries to prove his ex-girlfriend didn't kill the guy. What a swell guy!
Now the movie did improve greatly with the integration of Cortez's aunt (Constance Collier) into the plot. This neurotic old character hadn't left her home since her husband's death--decades earlier. However, she finally leaves to investigate who this woman is that Cortez MUST have as his wife. Despite assuming she'll hate the young woman (after all, she reasons, the woman IS an actress!), she believes her when she says she was setup for the murder. And, when this old eccentric gets to work, the movie improves greatly. The character was well-written and Ms. Collier did a bang-up job to give the movie a much-needed sense of humor.
My overall verdict is that this IS a worthwhile film, but not especially memorable except for the dynamite performance of the aunt! This makes is a slightly better than average film in the second half and provides an excellent conclusion.
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