Although young and beautiful, schoolteacher Anne Gladden fears a dull future. She finally decides to take a walk on the wild side, splurging on some fashionable new clothes and setting off ... See full summary »
Although young and beautiful, schoolteacher Anne Gladden fears a dull future. She finally decides to take a walk on the wild side, splurging on some fashionable new clothes and setting off to find adventure. Her new confidence inspires her to flirt with complete strangers. When a gangster pays unwanted attention to her, she ditches him and flees in his car, unaware that there's a corpse in the trunk. Determined to recover his stolen vehicle and its incriminating cargo the thug begins a desperate search. The oblivious Anne, comes to the aid of a handsome young man stranded alongside the road. Romance blooms, but after the shocking discovery of a body in the trunk, the duo decide they have to return the car. The bickering lovebirds head back to the city, trailed by both the angry gangster and the cops, who suspect the young couple of murder. Written by
Comedy noir would seem to be a contradiction in terms, but there are in fact movies in this vein that deserve serious attention, particularly The Ladykillers (1951). A much lesser entry, however, is Universal's 1940 release, Half a Sinner, in which a none-too-flatteringly photographed and costumed Heather Angel is pursued not only by comic cops and comic crooks but by smiling bland man, John King. The second last of over 400 films (many of them shorts) directed by comedy giant, Al Christie, this Trouble with Harry/Midnight Manhunt effort is somewhat repetitious but pleasant enough to talk during and even come late for. The players do what they can with their something-borrowed (cf. the overcoat device in Manhattan Melodrama), something-thin material, but only Clem Bevans, Tom Dugan, William B. Davidson and ever-reliable Constance Collier really shine.
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