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A wealthy man hires a detective to investigate his wife's past. The detective (Franchot Tone) discovers that the wife had been a dancer and left her home town with an actor. The latter is killed before he can talk, but, with the help of a showgirl, the detective learns that the wife had used stolen papers from a girl friend to enter college after she had stolen $40,000 from the night club where she worked. The detective eventually learns that the husband had killed his wife when he discovered her past in order to avoid a scandal, and had hired the detective to try and frame him for the killing. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Based on a magazine story by Roy Huggins, this movie provided the round-about genesis of the TV series 77 Sunset Strip (1958) (also created by Huggins). In this movie, 'Franchot Tone' plays LA detective Stuart Bailey, which is same name of detective played ten years later by 'Ephrem Zimbalist Jr.' in the 1958 movie Girl on the Run (1958), which, in turn, was spun off into the 77 Sunset Strip TV series that same year. Oddly, this movie was produced by Columbia Pictures, while subsequent movie and TV series were made by Warner Bros. See more »
A detective is hired to investigate the real identity of client's wife, leading him into a tangled thicket of leads.
So where is Janie Joy. Detective Bailey's having a heckuva time finding out, what with all those luscious ladies parading in and outnot that I'm complaining. But the sorting process does get difficult at times. This is a detective story, and not classic noir, more like Philo Vance than Phillip Marlowe. LA-area locations are emphasized rather than light and shadow. But it is a good look at post-war LA, including the photogenic Buster Buffin's Buffett.
As the detective, the slender Tone brings a different kind of appeal. Wisely, the screenplay emphasizes his verbal skills rather than tough-guy brawn. In fact, he almost gets shoved around enough to embarrass fall-guy Elisha Cook Jr. Still, Tone does have a ready smile and easy charm. But that's also a problem for the movie. In short, characters and events lack the kind of grit needed to generate needed menace. Sure, there is a guessing game as to where Janie Joy is, but it's more like a brain-teaser than a fear factor. Plus, screenwriter Huggins clearly knows his way around wisecracks and clever banter. Yet the story's architecture remains murky and plodding. All in all, this is a movie of individual scenes rather than memorable whole.
Nonetheless, it's a good chance to ogle the ladies and their 40's fashions, along with Detroit's four-wheel designs, post-war, that is.
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