David Janssen was an actor who never seemed to be acting. He had a natural, guy-next-door style that works to make a viewer at ease with his characters. Thanks to Janssen's style, TWENTY PLUS TWO works pretty well. The plot of this near-noir is very convoluted, but the director keeps a steady pace and there is enough incidental interest to avoid confusion or boredom. When a Hollywood secretary is found murdered, Tom Alder (Janssen), a "finder of missing persons", is hired to investigate the murder, but quickly sees a link between the secretary and a the long-missing daughter of a wealthy family. Complications involve some colorful characters: Leroy Dane (Brad Dexter), a big movie star, Mrs Delaney (Agnes Moorehead) the missing girl's mother, Jacques Pleschette (Jacques Aubuchon) a shady figure who tries to hire Tom to find his missing brother. All these actors give top drawer performances, with Moorehead a standout for the way she takes complete control of her single scene with Janssen. Excellent too is Dina Merrill as Nikki (her Tokyo-set flashback with Janssen is quite impressive). Also fine in the cast are Jeanne Crain, Robert Strauss, and William Demarest, doing a convincing turn as a down-and-out drunken newspaper man.
The only real problem with this engaging film is Gerald Fried's score. It's basically good, and suited to the material, but the main theme, scored for big band, is too brassy and intrusive at too many points. Too much spoiler here must be avoided, but suffice it to say this film could almost be called a lesser VERTIGO, minus Hitchcock's touches of genius. It's unclear what the title refers to, but the story is engrossing enough. Watch this one for the main cast members.
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