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"Cannon" Dead Lady's Tears (1973)

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Like a Film Noir Without Flashbacks

7/10
Author: DrGlitterhouse from United States
26 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Cannon agrees to investigate the murder of a publicist's girlfriend, with whom the publicist had an argument just before she was killed. The client was seen leaving the apartment by the victim's roommate, who had been the publicist's girlfriend before he met the victim, Cannon is cautioned not to expect any special treatment just because he's an ex-cop by the lead homicide detective (played by a pre–Slap Maxwell Dabney Coleman), who apparently thinks he has an open-and-shut case against the publicist, and the trail that Cannon follows consists mainly of men who had been smitten with the victim.

While reasonably well done, "Dead Lady's Tears" plays like a film noir minus the shadows and flashbacks, and I wonder if it was intended as a homage to Betty Grable, who had died a few months earlier. The episode's writer, Steve Fisher, in addition to having written the screenplay for Lady in the Lake, also wrote the novel that served as the basis for the Betty Grable vehicle, I Wake Up Screaming. In 1973, before cable and home video, the similarities between this episode and that film might not have been so obvious as they seem today.

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