6.7/10
252
10 user 4 critic

Manhandled (1949)

The secretary to a phony psychiatrist finds herself caught up in the murder of a patient's wife and realizes that her life is also in danger.

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Cast

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Joe Cooper
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Guy Bayard
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Dr. Redman
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Art Smith ...
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Sgt. Fayle
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Storyline

Merle Kramer works as a stenographer for a psychiatrist. She is casually dating Karl Benson, a private eye and former cop. Merle mentions in passing that one of her boss's patients is an author with recurring dreams of murdering his wife, and she includes the fact that the wife owns valuable jewels. When the wife is found murdered in a manner identical to that of her husband's dream, the husband is naturally the prime suspect. But as the investigation of the police and insurance investigator Joe Cooper proceeds, it turns out that several people in the case, including Merle, are not what they seem. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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The story of a smiling "Lady Killer" who knew how to "handle" women!

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Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

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25 May 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Man Who Stole a Dream  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Star Dorothy Lamour, in her autobiography, described working with George Reeves in the role of the insurance investigator, despite the fact that this role was played by Sterling Hayden. See more »

Goofs

During a scene in an Italian restaurant music is playing. One of the tunes is "Cielito Lindo" which is a Mexican not an Italian song. See more »

Quotes

Det. Dawson: I've never known a congenital wise-guy yet that didn't outsmart himself.
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Connections

Referenced in Alma Corsária (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Disappointing
24 August 2009 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

The shot of an ecstatic Duryea running down a terrified Vermilyea in the narrow, darkened alley way is a great slice of noir. Too bad the tension comes so late because, despite the promising title and noir icon Duryea, the narrative holds together about as well as an O J Simpson alibi. Looks like three different scriptwriters came up with three different results, so you may need a chart to track all the threads meandering through the plot. What the screenplay lacks is focus. There really is no central character holding developments together. Hayden's the headliner, yet his role as insurance investigator remains oddly inessential. Instead, lowly Art Smith gets the law-and-order screen time and in fact most of the movie time. Now, I like actor Smith as much as the next guy, especially in sly roles (Ride the Pink Horse {1947}); still, his comic relief here is not only misplaced, but too often sounds like it's being done by the numbers. (And whoever is it that thought a cop car without brakes is funny!)

On a more positive note, Alan Napier gets a delicious turn as the snooty novelist husband, but unfortunately soon drops out of sight, and I'm really sorry Irene Hervey's sexy wife bites the dust early on. She's a lively and interesting presence, making her spats with Napier a movie high point. And that's another source of trouble. Everyone disappears from the narrative for significant periods, such that a nudge is sometimes needed to remember who they are, even the largely wasted Lamour. All this might be okay if the plot or direction generated some suspense, but they don't, at least in my little book. In fact, if it weren't for the great Duryea doing another of his patented oily operator roles, the movie would be much more forgettable than it already is. From the title, I certainly expected better.


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