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Barry K. Barnes,
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When a wealthy business man is found dead reporter Philip Trent is sent to investigate. Against the police conclusions, he suspects the assumed suicide is really a murder, and becomes highly interested in the young widow and the dead man's private secretary. Written by
In the film, Sigisbee Manderson (played by Orson Welles ) mentions a performance of Shakespeare's "Othello" at the St. James Theatre in London in 1951, in which he disliked the leading actor's performance. This is an in-joke: Welles himself played Othello at the St. James in 1951, under his own direction. Peter Finch played Iago opposite him. See more »
When John Marlowe impersonates Sigsbee's voice on the phone to sell all the shares, John McCallum appears to be using his own voice. However when Marlowe is on the phone impersonating Sigsbee inquiring about the fictitious George Harrison, its obviously Orson Welles' actual voice dubbed. The two voices in each occasion are different when they should sound the same. See more »
Michael Wilding takes up "Trent's Last Case" in this 1952 film directed by Herbert Wilcox for Republic Studios. It's British with a British cast that includes Margaret Lockwood, John McCallum, Hugh McDermott, and one American, Orson Welles, who was probably trying to raise money for a project.
Trent is an artist and also an amateur detective. He gets involved in the suicide of a wealthy man named Manderson, but as he investigates, it looks more and more like murder. One suspect stands out, but how to prove it?
Unlike many detectives in books and movies, Trent is fallible. This is a neat mystery with a few red herrings. I don't agree that it was dull; I think the story itself keeps the film going, as well as the attractive Michael Wilding. Wilding falls in with many of those tall, good-looking British actors from the '50s - Robert Flemying, Michael Rennie, etc., and probably wouldn't be well known here if he hadn't married Elizabeth Taylor. Nevertheless, he was quite urbane with a great voice and acquits himself well as Trent. Margaret Lockwood is lovely as the victim's widow, and she keeps you guessing.
Not as bad as some reviewers claim. Maybe not as good either, but I enjoyed it. Orson Welles apparently had an obsession with using fake noses on his characters. It's really obvious in profile.
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