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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Overall, I was fairly disappointed in Manhandled. The best part about it was Dan Duryea, who played his usual oily self and is always a pleasure to watch. The plot of the film was satisfactory as well, involving a rich woman's coveted jewels, her murder, and a melange of would-be killers. But Dorothy Lamour is miscast as the leading lady and adds little to the production, and a running gag between a police detective and his partner is not only tiresome but also out of place. The film did offer several notable elements of film noir, however, including the opening sequence, in which a man dreams that he bludgeons his wife to death with a perfume bottle, and a later scene in which a duplicitous doctor is run over -- repeatedly -- by a car. Still, I'd probably place this one way down on my list of film noir must-sees.
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