|Index||4 reviews in total|
Concise little mystery in which the hero needs to piece together who he
is after suffering amnesia and realizing he is the major suspect in a
murder case. Walter Abel does a credible job of not knowing who he is
and working on the little clues that develop with the assistance of a
girl he meets in the park. Margot Graham, Britain's Jean Harlow, does
an excellent job of helping a stranger, believing him against all the
evidence to the contrary, and, of course, developing a relationship.
The movie opens with a man stumbling forward in the fog appropriate for the story line and then wandering into Mason Park. Not much to go on to figure out his identity: initials in a hat band, theater tickets, and foreign cigarettes. Obtaining the aid of a female friend, they set off to the police station for assistance. Just before entering, the newspapers arrive and report on the murder of producer Richard Denning by a man in a pin stripe suit. Guess who is wearing a pin stripe suit? There is a very cute little scene that follows where Abel buys new clothes at a store run by an amateur detective. There are a couple of nice scenes that are as probably as good as it gets in this type of movie. One overhead shot of Abel jumping from a rooming house window stands out. Another notable is the use of the title of the novel on which the film is based as the title of a play that is important to the story.
The hero is never in danger he just uncovers bits and pieces of his life and deals with them in turn. Naturally the actions of the police and the real villain(s) thwart Abel's attempts to return to normalcy. About mid-way through the movie, the plot gets a little confused as the hero is introduced to a series of people who know him and have obviously been placed in the story to provide an alternative answer to "who killed Richard Denning." A flashback near the end of the movie reveals the hero's non-complicity in the murder and explains all of the clues that have pointed to him. Still it is not quite enough to have the viewer or the police reach the correct conclusion on the actual murderer although the motive is reasonably clear. In the end, justice is served and boy gets girl.
Alan Hale does a great job as the detective inspector and Eric Blore is his usual excellent butler. The beautiful Erin O'Brien has a brief but memorable part.
Recommended. I watched this movie during the same month that TCM highlighted the Whistler series. It is much much better.
Amnesiac 'Ford Adams' (Walter Abel) wandering through a Boston Park
meets sympathetic 'Marie Smith' (Margot Grahame), believing that he has
committed a crime, MURDER. What follows is a typical mystery programmer
that any of the Studios of the 1930s would churn out to complete there
programming schedule. After the usual twists and turns the likable
Couple not only prevail, revealing the real/reel culprits, but find
The film has two (2) redeeming features that makes it a worthwhile watch. It moves in a brisk 72" minutes and has a fine cast of supporting character actors. Who knew how to bring this type of material to a satisfying conclusion. You cannot go very wrong with a cast that includes Wallace Ford, Gail Patrick, Alan Hale, J. Carroll Naish, etc.
The only real reservation is with actor Walter Abel. RKO never had much luck developing leading man material. Usually borrowing quality from other Studios, like Cary Grant or Fredric March. Mr. Abel delivers all dialog with the same flat monotone that you cannot distinguish if he is angry, concerned, passionate or scared. It all sounds the same. RKO should have realized that they had a dependable character actor and not a leading man. That should have been obvious from the previous years THE THREE MUSKETEERS. Never was there a more tepid 'D'Artagan' featured, either on screen or stage! What a contrast from the fine Female actors they developed, like Ann Harding, Katherine Hepburn, Irene Dunne and Ginger Rogers.
I saw this before, either this film or a remade version. I recognized
it as soon as I saw the first scene in the park, where a man with a
bloody head and amnesia (Walter Abel) meets a woman on the opposite
bench (Margot Grahame) who is down on her luck and at that moment,
The man has $500 on him, which as far as I'm concerned is still a lot of money to carry around -- back in 1936 it was a fortune.
He finds out from the front page of the newspaper that there has been a murder, and he wonders if he was a part of it. The police are looking for a man who matches his description and wears a pinstriped suit.
He gives Marie money to square things with her landlady, and he takes a room there himself, after buying a new suit.
The man spends quite a bit of time trying to find out who he is, believing himself to be the victim's chauffeur, and runs into police at the man's residence. Can he remember and clear himself?
Pretty good B movie with the unusual casting of Walter Abel in the lead. He was more of a character actor, but he handles himself pretty well, as does Margot Grahame.
On hand also are Wallace Ford, Gail Patrick, Eric Blore, and Alan Hale, all of whom are terrific.
Entertaining. No great shakes, but a nice cast and decent story.
There are so many ridiculous story elements to this B-movie that I just
can't bring myself to give it a score any higher than 3 (and this might
be a bit generous)--though I must admit that it was rather entertaining
at times--but certainly NOT for the entire film.
The story begins with a newly homeless lady meeting a guy in the park who has no idea who he is or where he is. At the same time, a cop comes and tells them to get moving, as it's late and they are loitering. Why, upon discovering this man with a bleeding head and amnesia didn't the lady just tell the cop and then get the man help?! Because, the film required the actors to occasionally act stupidly or bizarrely in order to make the convoluted plot work!! Later, the two decide (finally) to take him to the police station but on the way they see a newspaper that MIGHT indicate the amnesia victim committed a murder. So what does common sense tell you to do? Yep, DON'T take him to the police and help him to investigate the murder like Holmes and Watson!!! While this is stupid (after all he can be a maniac), it also makes no sense because so many people they meet might just be the murderer (if he isn't) and kill them to keep them quiet!! Sp they just blunder into the investigation and no one realizes they are implicated for the longest time!! So, provided you can ignore all this, the film then is only a moderately entertaining whodunit. Without good supporting performances and a rather listless mystery, it just isn't much of a film--only a very clichéd time-passer with a few decent performances.
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