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Homicide detective Mike Carter is tossed off the police force for insubordination and violating regulations. He reluctantly takes a job as bodyguard to Mrs. Gene Dysen, the owner of a local meat-packing plant. In investigating threats against her life, Carter begins unraveling the murder of a meat inspector at the plant, but not before he himself is framed for the murder of his former supervisor on the police force. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tough-talking mug Lawrence Tierney is the hero of this quick and dirty cheapy from 1948. He plays a detective who's kicked off the force for being a hot head, and gets a job moonlighting as the bodyguard for an elderly lady (Elizabeth Risdon), matriarch and acting manager of a large and successful meat-packing company, whose life is being threatened for unknown reasons. Of course it's not long before we and Tierney realize that he's been set up to be the fall guy for a crooked plot to swindle the company away from the old lady, and he helps crack the case with the help of his girl Friday Priscilla Lane.
"Bodyguard" is almost laughingly short and inconsequential, but it's an awful lot of fun. There's nothing especially striking about the writing or visual style, but yet it doesn't feel anonymous either. There are some clever set pieces to distinguish the film, most notably a scene that takes place in an optometrist's office and that uses some clever lighting and framing. And Tierney has a cute relationship with Lane, and it's refreshing to see a woman in a film like this take an active role in solving the crime rather than simply be someone the leading man has to rescue.
Robert Altman (credited as Robert B. Altman) wrote the story for this film at the ripe old age of 25.
Far from a must see, but enjoyable if you can find it.
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