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Laura Hope Crews
Dick Purcell is an American taxi driver who wants to become a singer promoting cheese products. Oddly he thinks the way to do it is to become a gondolier from Venice. Along the way he sings and woos a sassy secretary Alice.
Lance is sent to the hospital to recuperate from a nervous breakdown. At the hospital, Sara is his nurse and she still holds a grudge from the last court case. At the hospital, a wealthy patient has just donated $100,000 worth of radium to be used on his skin problem. But late that night, he is murdered and the radium is stolen. Everyone has a motive except for Sara and Lance as they were looked in his room during the murder. As the bodies pile up, Sara and Lance try to solve the case as Foley is clueless. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Radium? Isotope? The only thing missing is a Dynamo!
It must be difficult to cast support players in a movie where even the stars are B List. Warner's does it's best with stock players like Cliff Clark, Charles Trowbridge, Frank Orth, and John Ridgely. All reliable - all competent. Ann Sheridan as the love interest does well enough. There is something appealing about her. The problem lies with Patric Knowles. For those of us that remember him fondly as Will Scarlett in The Adventures of Robin Hood this movie, as well as so many other efforts, are a disappointment. Warner Bros continued to try to find a niche for him - and failed. They tried him as a pathetic coward and weakling in Five Came Back. They tried him in a half dozen light romantic comedies - no luck. He eventually fizzled into obscure supporting roles. Too bad. He was a genuinely likable guy.
Oh, the movie. Well, it's a medical mystery. At 60 minutes running time, it had no choice but to move at a rapid pace. That doesn't make it good, it just makes it short. I happen to be a fan of these potboilers, but there ain't many of us. You have to wonder where they dig these things up from. Buried deep in some film library until some 3rd assistant researcher digs it out. It sits in a cardboard box in some programmers office until he totally runs out of ideas for the 2am slot. He tosses into the que as a filler and nobody notices. Bingo! It makes air and I'm thrilled.
This movie was made in 1938 and it really is dated. The men walk around the house in tuxedos and dressing gowns. All the cops have a New York Irish accent and smoke cigars. All rich people had white telephones. Bodies fall out of the closet. The medical procedures make one shudder. For example: A patient has a mystery medical condition and they tape 100K worth of Radium to his chest. As I recall, radium was a miracle cure for everything back then.
If I sound like I'm down on this movie, I didn't mean to. Movies like this one couldn't be made anymore. There is more acting and writing talent in this 3 week wonder than you will find in most movies made today. You don't have to take it seriously, but take the time to watch it.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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