On trial for murdering his girlfriend, philandering stockbroker Larry Ballentine takes the stand to claim his innocence and describe the actual, but improbable sounding, sequence of events that led to her death.
Christabel fools everyone with her sweet exterior including her cousin Donna and Donna's wealthy fiancée Curtis. The only one who sees through her facade is Nick, a rugged writer who loves ... See full summary »
Evie's co-workers at the uniform shirt factory, and her almost-fiancée's inability to kiss, inspire her to slip a letter into a size sixteen-and-a-half shirt for some anonymous soldier. ... See full summary »
The proprietor of an ice-skating revue promotes a peanut-vendor at the show to a management position based on suggestions he made to improve the act of the show's star, who also happens to ... See full summary »
Nick Cherney, in prison for embezzling from Torno Freight Co., sees a chance to get back at Johnny Torno through his young priest brother Jess. He pays fellow prisoner Rocky, who gets out a week before Nick, to murder Jess...who, dying, tells revenge-minded Johnny that he'd written a clue "in the Bible." Frustrated, Johnny obsessively searches for the missing Gideon Bible from Jess's hotel room. Meanwhile, Nick himself gets out with murder still in his heart. But another factor is in play that none of them (except the murdered Jess) had planned on. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Not really a film noir - just a gangster melodrama
"Red Lights" doesn't really meet enough of the classic criteria to be called a true "film noir." In reality, it's just a somewhat sappy revenge drama peppered with some unexpected moments of mad violence. Note how the plot wraps up nicely at the end, but not in the way George Raft's character would initially have hoped. Even the masterful composer Dmitri Tiomkin turns in a by-the-numbers performance, shoe-horning "Ave Maria" into the score every time a Bible or a priest is mentioned (as well as the "Dies Irae" in the death scenes).
This is the only film I can think of where a Gideon Bible plays a primary role. It's also one of those 1940s flicks that is loaded with actors that were about to become household names through the medium of television: Wiliam Frawley (I Love Lucy, My Three Sons), Raymond Burr (Perry Mason, Ironside), Henry Morgan (Dragnet, December Bride, Pete and Gladys, M*A*S*H), and Victor Sen Young (already known through the Charlie Chan films, but soon to play Hop Sing on Bonanza). Also keep your eyes open for voice actor Paul Frees (Boris Badenov/Pillsbury Doughboy), who plays the hotel bellhop who's with George Raft when he discovers the body. It was one of Frees's first on-screen roles. Within a decade, he would give up film almost completely to concentrate on more lucrative voice work.
8 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?