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 »
John 'Dusty' King,
Attorney John Webb, is fighting the crooked political-ring headed by newspaper publisher Vincent Cushing and his crony George Joyce, the district attorney. When Alma Brehmer, Cushing's mistress and Webb's former sweetheart, is murdered, Cushing and Joyce try to railroad Webb as the killer. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Uneven murder mystery with good cast, solid plot, odd humor
Fast talking lawyer Pat O'Brien sets out to do a jobon the level, but only for the money, it seems. The "job" is fighting the highway monopoly controlled by smooth talking crime boss Edward Arnold. Broderick Crawford is O'Brien's law partner and pal; they set out to take down Arnold and his empire.
Sounds like a solid drama, but soon silly girl singer Ruth Terry is telling O'Brien "I like you" at a party. He half-heartedly discourages her enthusiastic advances on him, and he doesn't quite believe that she's eighteen years and two months old, as she says; however, she persists in chasing him around for the rest of the movie, wearing down his resistance and distracting him from the real plot
A woman is murdered and the few clues point toward O'Brien. Who really did the murder, and why is O'Brien being framed? There's the mystery O'Brien has to sort out, with assistance (and frequent interference) from partner Crawford, from the kid singer Terry, and from the copswho may be Arnold's stooges.
Bizarre humorous touches distract somewhat from the mystery plot; for example, the scene in which all of the suspects remove their shoes to be examined for blood stains, and Edward Arnold has an embarrassing hole in the toe of his sock. Terry and O'Brien giggle madly even though the corpse is still lying in the next room. It just doesn't quite fit.
I would have liked to see more of three other women characters: Claire Dodd as an early victim (intimate friends with more than one suspect), Eve Arden as O'Brien's secretary (smart and ready), and Phyllis Brooks as Arnold's daughter (conscience crying out as she learns about her father). All are very good in too small roles.
We do get plenty of Ruth Terry who is actually very good herself, except that hers and O'Brien's relationship never really convinces, the chemistry never really gels. Unfortunately for her, she comes across as rather annoying.
One truly chilling moment involves a discovery at a deska shock that is totally unexpected and perfectly executed.
Otherwise, the plot is passable, the cast a bunch of pros, the dialog zippyand the romance and humor a little oddball. Funjust a little unsteady.
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