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An excellent leading man (Nolan) and good production values make for a fun detective comedy.
Dressed to Kill (1941)
There are several movies by this name, and this is one of the lesser of them, a comic detective yarn with an improbable murder and some fun settings. Key to its success--because it isn't half bad--is the leading man, Lloyd Nolan, who has an ease and likability that makes his scenes fun to watch. And he's in every minute of the movie.
This is one of a series of Michael Shayne movies (that's the detective's name), and the first seven of the thirteen movie versions star Nolan. It says something that I'd be willing to see another, for sure. But I think this is a television level drama (before t.v., but that kind of budget and level of intensity). These aren't like the great detective movies of the 30s and 40s, and not a bit like the noirs of the 40s and 50s, just to be clear.
One of the surprising high points is the script--very witty, and unrelentingly clever. Nice
Expect very good production values, a decent supporting cast, and a kind of over-convoluted Agatha Christie kind of plot with lots of characters that are really hard to get to know in just over an hour. In the big picture these are a little like the Sherlock Holmes or the Mr. Wong movies with Boris Karloff. Fun, but no great shakes.
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