The City of Chicago is gripped by an Axe Murderer. The streets are empty at night as there has been six murders and six people have been caught, but they are lunatics. Only one person has ...
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The City of Chicago is gripped by an Axe Murderer. The streets are empty at night as there has been six murders and six people have been caught, but they are lunatics. Only one person has lived to tell about it and that was Edwina, who is as dumb as a brick. If it were not for Oliver, she would be number seven. When there is a second attempt on Edwina, Oliver figures that the crimes are not random and that someone is hypnotizing these people to do his bidding, but the police and Edwina are skeptical. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
She Held The Answer To His Confusion So He Axed Her
I hesitate to call this film a mystery, because the nature of the murders that are plaguing Chicago is known to the viewer from the very beginning. And although it has some traits common to noir, I found the tone of this film to be too light to firmly place it in that genre.
Lew Ayres (as Oliver Duffy) plays an out of work actor who stumbles into a murder plot aimed at Laraine Day (Edwina Brown). She is rather kooky and he seems unable to string two serious lines together. With his help, they capture the axe murderer who attempts to end Laraine's day.
Ayres develops a theory about the nature of the murders, but the police won't listen. They are buffaloed by the hypothesizing of a psychologist--a common theme in the 40s and 50s when audiences seemed intrigued by the mysteries of the human mind and the simple "explanations" that science seemed to offer. For a superior example of this, see "The Bad Seed" from 1956. Hitchcock liked to dabble in these kinds of stories, as in "Spellbound" in 1945.
But this film does have some appeal. And Basil Rathbone, in his role, provides the intensity that was his hallmark.
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