A newspaper man, his ignored fiancée, and his former employee a down on his luck reporter hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news story into the truth, to stop a high-society woman from suing for libel.
In this adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's "The Farewell Murder", Nick and Nora (and their dog Asta) visit the estate of Col. MacFay, who is being threatened by a mysterious man wanting revenge for a past injustice. When MacFay is murdered, that man is the obvious suspect- maybe too obvious... Written by
Ken Yousten <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The placard outside the West Indies Club advertised the dance team as René y Estela, but the opening credits anglicized it as Renee and Stella. They were real headliners at New York's Havana-Madrid Club. See more »
When baby Nickie is crawling on Nick as he sleeps, Nick is on his back. When the shot changes angles and Nora picks up baby Nickie, Nick is rolling onto his back from his left side. See more »
I hadn't seen this one before, probably the thought of the Charles' with a baby tagging along worried me. But although he formed a double act with Asta for the first half by the time the plot went into overdrive he was virtually ditched. And I've not come across this Hammett story, but with the comedy turned up to maximum there is so much going on in here I'm amazed it all got squeezed into 98 minutes. The complete box-set print is absolutely pristine and gleamingly atmospheric as was only achievable with nitrate stock.
The plot you can liken to a game of keeping a ball in the air, the members of the cast who let it drop to the ground get murdered. It's impossible to explain the complexities of it all - in short Nick's trying to prevent a murder, then trying to catch the murderer - from a dizzying array of suspects. This is Red Herring City, right up to the very end when Nick unmasked the surprise murderer and even the housekeeper's motives are explained in a dismissive sentence - but not corroborated. If you want to work out whodunnit for yourself my advice is keep a very open mind! If you don't like whodunnits at all watch this solely for the astonishing dance routine by Rene & Estela - Fred & Ginger were awkward in comparison!
I'm going to have to watch this again, soon and sober to tie up some of the threads I lost along the way. I noticed Nick hardly drank at all in here - was that Hays Office pressure? All in all not quite as good as the first two but still one Hell of a ride!
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