In the 7th film of the "Crime Doctor" series based on the radio program, Dr. Robert Ordway (Warner Baxter) is summoned to take attend a diabetic, and gives an injection of insulin taken ... See full summary »
Amnesia victim, Robert Ordway, becomes the country's leading criminal psychologist. When he is hit on the head (by someone from his past) he suddenly remembers his previous life as a ... See full summary »
In the 8th film of Columbia's "Crime Doctor" series, Dr. Robert Ordway is vacationing in the Blue Ridge Mountains district of West Virginia when a typhoid epidemic breaks out. Three deaths ... See full summary »
As has earlier been commented, Whit Bissell's performance here as an aspiring and mentally challenged composer is a scene-stealer. He intuitively takes the film to another plane with a blissful unawareness that is inadvertent and yet elevating. Along with the tragic end of his character Tom Lister in "Brute Force" this is one of his most affecting performances of the forties. Probably the second most affecting. He seems to inhabit this role as opposed to the other actors in the film who seem to just be going through their paces robotically and quite superficially with little or no special touch of humanity other than to move the story along so they can pick up their check. The film stops when he comes on the screen and you do a double take because you sense this performance is a silk purse in a sow's ear of a film. His character Pete Bellem, touching, halting and muddling along, stays with you when everyone else in the film just fades away into cardboard kitsch heaven. And that song of his so conscientiously crumbles upon itself that it takes on a profound, sad and yet sweet resonance which belies its silliness. Whit was a talented pianist, by the way. He puts that to use here (and in some other roles through the years). He was also a fencing enthusiast in real life. His character Pete Bellem, harmless and hampered and even harassed here by those who have no time of day for him and, in their self-anointed intellectual superiority, belittle what they feel are his mental limits, may be in a world of his own but in this world of charlatans and floozies and hucksters, his seems a better, kinder world. His fingers are his intellect. He loves his ditty no end and to the exclusion of all critique. He is a man-child in this not so promised land and (toot-toot) one you root for. He is the heart and very much the only soul of this film and definitely the only one who stays with you as the credits roll. Great job. Rest in peace, Whit.
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