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Vivian, a B-girl working at "The Grass Skirt," is being brushed off by her rich, married boyfriend. To confront him, she hijacks drunken customer Henry Shanway and his car from Boston to Cape Cod, where she strands Henry...and is never seen again. Months later, a skeleton is found (sans clothes or clues) on a lonely Cape Cod beach. Using the macabre expertise of Harvard forensic specialist Dr. McAdoo, Lt. Pete Morales must work back from bones to the victim's identity, history, and killer. Will he succeed in time to save an innocent suspect? Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The concept of a forensic procedural is common in the 21st century, but was brand new when this movie was made. To cap it off, the hero was played by a Hispanic actor, Ricardo Montalban, who was a big star in Mexico, but who had been mostly cast in Hollywood flicks as a Latin lover before this picture. See more »
Length of the chain connecting phone book to wall phone in boarding house varies from scene to scene. See more »
Great movie for ELSA fans --- good movie all around!
First of all .... ELLLLLLLSSSSSAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you're an Elsa Lanchester fan, you've got to see this movie. Although she is fourth in the billing, I'd say she's on screen second in amount of time only to Ricardo Montalban. And, she plays her character wonderfully: a scheming, not-so-nice landlady! ELSA ROCKS!
Small aside: Thank goodness for Tivo's "wish list" feature and Turner Classic Movies! This movie came up during my Elsa Lanchester wish list search. Otherwise, I might never have seen it.
OK, back to the movie: I recorded it because of Elsa, and for that reason only. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually enjoyed the movie. It's a murder mystery, and Ricardo Montalban plays a young lieutenant trying to find the murderer. For 1950, I thought the detail of forensic information they went into was pretty good ... CSI fans might laugh or find it charmingly quaint, but I don't recall any other "noir" type of films that I've seen from this era talk about forensic details to the extent that this film does.
I won't spoil the movie, but there are two scenes I'd like to comment on:
1) While Ricardo Montalban is searching the office of a snobby Cape Cod blue blood, the blue blood (Mr. Harkley) says to him, "The Harkleys have been here since before this land became known as the United States. I can tell by your accent that you've been here less than one generation." (or words to that effect). RM shoots him a great look, then has a great parting shot when he leaves Mr. Harkley's office.
2) VERY BRIEFLY, say 60 seconds at the most, Ricardo Montalban is working out by himself in a squash or handball court. A very yummy shot if, like me, you are only familiar with the older "Kahn" (Star Trek) or "Fantasy Island" Ricardo Montalban. Rrrrowwwr!
Summary: Good movie. Good story. Good acting. ELLLLLSSSSSSAAAAAAA!!!!!!! I recommend seeing it if you can.
(Sadly, I just checked Amazon and I don't see this movie as being available for sale on either DVD or VHS. Scan your Turner Classic Movie listings for this. I'm sure they'll play it again. Or plug it into your wish list if you have a Tivo. And if you don't have a Tivo then get one! (No, I'm not an employee of Tivo nor a shareholder! Just a huge Tivo fan!))
My rating = 8/10
32 of 38 people found this review helpful.
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