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Edward L. Cahn
A hitch-hiking stranger manages a lift from a young woman into the town he's destined for, and she's from. Both land up in jail, twice, as the small town and its leading family slowly unravel the in-plain-sight mystery behind this man.
Shortly before she is to be married, a young woman gets a visit from her fiance's wife, who had been missing for seven years and presumed dead. Soon both the girl and her fiance find themselves mixed up with a crooked nightclub owner, gangsters and murder. Written by
Hugh Beaumont, Mary Beth Hughes in mystery programmer halfway to noir
The Lady Confesses doesn't have a lot going for it, except for plot, and even that's pretty hackneyed. But it's foolish to expect more from a 64-minute cheapie from Producers Releasing Corporation starring Mary Beth Hughes and Hugh Beaumont (later to grasp immortality as The Beaver's dad). Nonetheless, there have been worse programmers.
After a seven year absence (unexplained to us), Beaumont's wife suddenly shows up, putting the kibosh on his plans to marry Hughes. Soon after her return, alas, she's found garotted. Beaumont, the prime suspect, has an alibi: he was passed out in the dressing room of a nightclub singer. Hughes, in the plucky style of the 40s, cops a job as a roving photographer in the club to dig up clues. What she turns up, however, brings her into peril....
The Lady Confesses has been called noir by virtue of its era and its setting, but it's really more of a quick-and-dirty mystery thriller with its roots in the previous decade. The director, Sam Newfield, started out in silents and directed a whole passel of forgettable Westerns before catching up with the emerging noir style of the post-war years. He retains the dubious distinction of having directed Beaumont in nine films.
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