On a lecture/vacation visit to Paris, Dr. Ordway drops in on his friend, the Prefecture of Police. He becomes involved in a case involving the stabbing of an old man. The man's son, not all... See full summary »
On a lecture/vacation visit to Paris, Dr. Ordway drops in on his friend, the Prefecture of Police. He becomes involved in a case involving the stabbing of an old man. The man's son, not all that mentally stable, believes he killed his own father in a rage because his father disliked his new bride, the daughter of a cabaret knife-thrower. Investigating the case, Ordway finds that the business of the legal copying art masterworks may also be involved. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
Evidence that the series had peaked and was on the decline
Dr. Ordway, the Crime Doctor, is visiting a friend--a detective in Paris, France. While they say repeatedly that Ordway's visit is purely a vacation, the audience KNOWS that sooner or later a crime will occur and Ordway will be called in to solve it.
This movie is a real shame, as early on the Crime Doctor series was one of the best detective series of the 1940s--maybe even the best. The film really lets down on several levels. First, the acting of everyone is poor. Warner Baxter (Dr. Ordway) looks rather tired but the real problem were the French-accented extras. Many of them simply weren't good actors and I think they were chosen for their accents and other talents seemed incidental. Plus, it was very odd that not a single French person spoke French during the film. Also, the film was very talky and the plot just wasn't all that involving.
An added benefit of my watching the film (since I have significant training and experience with diagnosing mental illness) was that I knew that the psychological talk was mostly mumbo-jumbo. For example, at one point a man was accused of murder and Ordway said "(these are) actions of a typical Manic-Depressive"! Even by 1940s standards for psychiatry, this was a load of bull--Manic-Depression (Bipolar Disorder) is NOT related to murder nor did the man show symptoms of the disorder. I think they just pulled the diagnosis out of a hat! It's a shame, as in earlier Crime Doctor films, they seemed to try to get the psychiatric aspects of the film right.
All in all, a rather limp and pedestrian effort. Not bad, but far from the brilliance of the first few films of the series.
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