A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.
Philip Sutherland is an American news writer stationed in Moscow since the war; while there he falls for a Russian ballet dancer, Marya Lamarkins, who, he finds out, learned English because... See full summary »
Sherry Conley, a street tough and cynical woman with an unhappy family background, is taken from prison to a hotel, where the DA tries to convince her to testify against a mobster. Sherry ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
In November 1941, American news photographer Johnny 'Bugsy' Williams manages to escape from the Japanese and finds himself back in Burma where he meets the beautiful Miss Haoli Young. ... See full summary »
A married Broadway producer is taken with an innocent young woman who wants to be a writer and make it on Broadway. He decides to take her under his wing, but it's not long before the young lady is found dead in his apartment. At first thought to be a suicide, it is later discovered that she has been murdered, and suspicion immediately falls on the producer. He begins his own investigation in order to clear his name, and one of the first things he finds out is that the young woman wasn't quite as naive and innocent as she appeared to be. Written by
Allyn Joslyn reportedly turned down the role eventually played by Reginald Gardiner because the plot would have required him to become romantically involved with and impregnate the character played by former child actress Peggy Ann Garner--who had a role as his daughter in Junior Miss (1945) nine years earlier. See more »
Early in the movie, at Lottie's party the waiter first pauses with a full tray of assorted drinks--then passes uninterrupted through the crowd to offer the single remaining drink to Peter Denver. See more »
Five years earlier, this drawingroom drama would have been filmed in small screen b&w. But the year is 1954 and film audiences are staying home with their new-fangled little black boxes. So a big budget studio like TCF takes what amounts to an "Ellery Queen in Manhattan" plot, gussies it up in lavish color, stretches the screen to Cinemascope length, loads up the marquee with big names, and sends the result out to compete with Lucille Ball and Milton Berle. I don't know how well the strategy succeeded commercially, but I enjoyed the movie then and still do.
As a whodunit, the mystery's only partially successfulnot enough suspects and too convoluted to follow. At the same time, the pacing sometimes sags in ways that undercut the suspense. Still, the 95 minutes does add up to a gorgeous tapestry, thanks to expert art direction, set decoration, and a well-upholstered cast. And who could hold together a sometimes-confusing storyline better than the always-reliable Van Heflin. Also, I expect urbane writer-director Nunnally Johnson fit comfortably with the sophisticated Manhattan setting and show-biz personalities. So, it's not surprising that he gets off some insider innuendo. Catch the cocktail party shot at gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, known for her bizarre headgear; I expect Johnson was settling an old score there. Then too, having the ingénue (Garner) turn up mysteriously pregnant is rather daring for the straitjacketed Production Code period. Also, watch for the skinny young actor (Oliver) interviewed by Heflin near film's end. That's future TV mogul Aaron Spelling getting a proverbial foot in the door.
Anyway, the film provides an entertaining glimpse of drawingroom drama getting a face-lift during the early years of the television challenge.
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