Lydia Garth meets Paul de Vandiere, a French nobleman, but their romance is plagued by Lydia's complaint of recurring spells of blurred vision. Paul leaves for France, promising to return ... See full summary »
Gambling boss Greg Morella runs a crooked ship-- all the gaming tables on his floating casino are rigged. Because the ship operates outside of the three-mile state limit, the authorities ... See full summary »
Vincent Doane is in the precarious position of trying to close an advertising account with his rich ex-fiancée. Unfortunately she is more interested in him than in business. Vincent's wife ... See full summary »
Charles 'Buddy' Rogers
In this tense story of an unusual romantic triangle, middle-aged Ann (Vanessa Redgrave) and her teenage daughter Joanna (Susan George) manage a failing hotel on an island off the British ... See full summary »
At a mayors convention in San Francisco, ex-longshoreman Steve Fisk meets Clarissa Standish from New England. Fisk is mayor of "Puget City" and is proud of his rough and tumble background. ... See full summary »
Prizefighter Jimmy Dolan accidentally kills a man at a party and escapes. He hides out at a health farm for invalid children and begins to lose his cynicism under the influence of the ... See full summary »
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.,
A singing waiter gets into an argument with some obnoxious customers and winds up knocking them out. The incident is witnessed by a shady boxing promoter who sees an opportunity to cash in ... See full summary »
The $20,000 insurance policy would equate to over $201,000 in 2017. See more »
The insurance investigator assumes from the smell of the barrel that various pistols he encounters have been fired recently (a common Hollywood mistake). Once the smoke of a shot dissipates (within minutes), all that even an expert can determine is that a gun has been fired since it was last cleaned - whenever that might have been - not how recently it had been fired. See more »
Despite the title and Dennis O'Keefe as the star, this B film is not a film noir. It is about a small town in Middle America where everyone in the town seems to be trying to conspire to cover up a murder. Dennis O'Keefe arrives in town as an insurance investigator. He is there as a matter of routine because the company for which he works has provided life insurance for the deceased. The sum insured is mentioned as $20,000, and everyone speaks of it breathlessly, and it is hard to realize that in those days $20,000 really was a substantial amount of money. That says a lot about inflation over time. The man is said to have committed suicide. However, O'Keefe is very smart and he soon realizes that the man was murdered. His efforts to bring this to the attention of the local sheriff, played by William Bendix, meet with a stone wall. There is a double indemnity clause in the insurance policy which says that if the person is murdered the payout will be double. But when O'Keefe offers to pay the extra $20,000 to the niece of the murdered man, she refuses it, insisting that her uncle committed suicide. O'Keefe is baffled by this refusal of so much extra money. The murdered man turns out to have been 'a poison in his community', who was hated by everyone in town. In fact, everyone in town had a motive to murder him. It is a very good yarn in theory, but mystery and tension are sacrificed to other aims, namely to concentrate on the dilemma of O'Keefe's budding romance with a girl called Anita, played by Barbara Britton. The murdered man was killed with a 9 mm German Lugar. Both the sheriff and Anita's father have such Lugars. Things are looking very bad indeed, as one of them seems to be the killer. The other main aim of the film is to concentrate on the cozy, though currently unsettled, life of the small town. It is snowing and it is nearly Christmas. People are lighting up their trees and getting the turkeys ready for roasting, tying up their presents, and O'Keefe (who has no family of his own) gets involved in the festivities while he is at the same time carrying out an investigation which threatens many of those with whom he is associating. If the intention had been to make a film noir, a great deal more mystery and suspicion and conflict would have been created, and the film would be dark and moody. Instead, the film attempts to retain a cheerful air, which belies the tensions underneath. Barbara Britton smiles charmingly, O'Keefe is falling for her like a schoolboy, her father is genteel and reassuring, and only the sheriff appears truly suspicious, though even he has a twinkle in his eye and casts mischievous little smiles aside from time to time, which suggest that he is not a bad guy after all. No attempt is made by the director to suggest any real sense of threat or menace. Everybody is simply too goody-goody, and there are no obvious villains. Well, the ending has something to do with the season of the year, and it is by no means obvious, but I won't spoil things by discussing that. The catchline for the film is: 'a small town with big secrets'. That is certainly true, but don't expect a nail-biter. The suspense is so diluted in this film that it should rather be described as diverting than absorbing. As a result, Dennis O'Keefe is not as effective as usual, because he was best in films where things get really tough, and here he has to be Mr. Nice Guy who in between wooing his gal dabbles in proving and explaining a murder, and worrying whether his gal and her father are involved in it. In other words, the focus is on the romantic conflict rather than on whodunit. You could call this a 'soft noir', or perhaps a 'black marshmallow', since it aims to be tasty, chewy and sweet with a dusting of crime sprinkled over it for appearance's sake.
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