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A serial killer in London is murdering young women whom he meets through the personal columns of newspapers; he announces each of his murders to the police by sending them a cryptic poem. After a dancer disappears, the police enlist an American friend of hers, Sandra Carpenter, to answer advertisements in the personal columns and so lure the killer. Written by
David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>
The title was changed to "Personal Column" midway through the original U.S. theatrical release because staff at the Production Code Administration thought the word "lured" sounded too much like "lurid". Director Douglas Sirk felt the title change confused potential audiences and led to the film's box-office failure. See more »
When Sandra goes to visit Julian towards the end of the movie, they have a conversation, and when Julian says, "That's why he chose death," you can see that Sandra is saying something we don't hear. See more »
Opening credits - a flashlight pans along the side of a building, and the credits are written on the side of the wall. See more »
LURED starts out promisingly with Scotland Yard on the trail of a serial killer and enlisting a friend of the latest victim (LUCILLE BALL) to help them solve the crime. CHARLES COBURN is the police inspector who sends Lucille on a dangerous mission to trap a killer. GEORGE SANDERS, in one of his more colorless roles, is the man with romantic designs on Ball the minute he has a phone conversation with her when she applies for a showgirl job opening.
Sanders without witty dialog plays his straight role in a rather bored fashion, but there's some colorful work by ALAN MOBRAY, SIR CEDRIC HARDWICKE, GEORGE ZUCCO, ROBERT COOTE and ALAN NAPIER.
Best of all is BORIS KARLOFF in an offbeat role as a mad dress designer who gets the chance to chew all the scenery in sight and then some.
But somewhere towards the middle, the story loses steam and whatever dramatic tension was built up in the earlier scenes. Still, it manages to hold the interest with several red herrings tossed in the mix to throw off suspicion. However, any true mystery fan ought to be able to guess the murderer from the start.
Best when it's going along at a brisk pace, but it does slow down to a trot toward the end. Lucille Ball does well in a dramatic role (delivered with some typical light touches) and all in all it manages to entertain despite some flaws.
Douglas Sirk, noted more for his Technicolored melodramas in the '50s, does a nice job of direction.
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