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Genius at Work (1946)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime | 20 October 1946 (USA)
Two actors who star in a radio detective show find themselves pitted against a villain calling himself the Cobra, who has an affinity for torture chambers.

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Ellen Brent
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Latimer Marsh / The Cobra
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Stone
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Lt. Rick Campbell
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Lt. Gilley
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Storyline

Two actors who star in a radio detective show find themselves pitted against a villain calling himself the Cobra, who has an affinity for torture chambers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

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Release Date:

20 October 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Genius, Inc.  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Bela Lugosi's second and last teaming of Wally Brown and Alan Carney. The first was Zombies on Broadway (1945). See more »

Connections

Remake of Super-Sleuth (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

 
GENIUS AT WORK (Leslie Goodwins, 1946) **
12 March 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

I wasn't really sure if watching another Wally Brown/Alan Carney vehicle so soon after ZOMBIES ON Broadway (1945) was a good idea, but this comedy-thriller actually works better than expected: there are a handful of genuinely funny one-liners and the chief villain (Lionel Atwill) utilizes a couple of clever ruses to escape detention when cornered - though his posing as an old lady in a wheelchair with a bearded Bela Lugosi (here relegated to the supporting role of Atwill's all-purpose henchman) in tow is a genuine camp moment; just as unflattering is the sight of Lugosi donning a bowler hat, not to mention his being on the receiving end in a couple of pratfall situations (I would also contend the absurdity of giving such a heavily-accented actor American names for his characters, in this case Stone, though this didn't happen often!).

The narrative incorporates several well-worn elements from contemporary horror films and thrillers: a mysterious and seemingly invincible criminal mastermind, radio detective heroes, a renowned criminologist brought in to assist the investigation, a wax museum, torture/execution devices - and, for the climax, even reserves a few perilous stunts on the ledge of a building a' la the films of Harold Lloyd! As was the case with ZOMBIES ON Broadway, the film utilizes cast and crew members who also worked on the contemporaneous Val Lewton cycle of classic horror films - cinematographer Robert De Grasse had served in the same capacity on THE BODY SNATCHER (1945; also featuring Lugosi), while Marc Cramer had co-starred in ISLE OF THE DEAD (1945). In the end, I'd say that the film marginally edges ZOMBIES - even the Brown/Carney team seems to be more at ease with the material and, consequently, comes off as more sympathetic here.


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