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Prof. Andrew Gentling, in Los Angeles to help found a new college, is inveigled by old flame Catherine Sykes into a midnight drive. Next day Catherine is missing, believed killed; friend Martha convinces Andrew that he's a prime suspect and should investigate before he's arrested. But this only puts Andrew in a more deadly kind of danger. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
"Take One False Step" is a very weak William Powell film. Despite being a fine actor with a long string of excellent films behind him, this one from late in his career is among his worst. As a mystery- suspense film it just doesn't pay off, due to a particularly weak script.
Andrew (William Powell) is a professor in town to start a new college. However, when he arrives there, an old flame, Catherine (Shelley Winters) sees him and is very insistent that they spend the evening together. She's a bit of a mess and why the professor agrees is a bit inexplicable. They go out for a drive and she is a bit drunk...and their evening is anything but fun for him.
After dropping her off, he soon learns that she's disappeared and folks think foul play. Here is where the picture gets rather dumb. Instead of going to the police or just sitting tight, Martha (Marsha Hunt) convinces him that he needs to investigate the disappearance himself, otherwise he might be accused. Does a college professor investigating make much sense? No. But it makes even less when everything he then does makes him look guilty as sin! And, for a smart guy, he sure seems like a big dummy!
The problem is the script. Andrew's actions rarely make sense and the picture just isn't very satisfying as a result. I think it's best a film for die-hard Powell fans...otherwise, you can skip this one.
FYI--Marsha Hunt is still going strong at 99 (she turns 100 in October).
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