Nine Girls (1944)
Nine girls, but are they young ladies? And which one is a murderer?
5 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
One falling star and nine possible rising ones, some who made it, some who faded away. Ann Harding, once RKO's most ladylike heroine, fading from A's, and moving into the realm of a "never heard of". Back after a hiatus in the late 30's-early 40's, she remained quite lovely yet never regained her stature which she shared for several years with Irene Dunne and Katharine Hepburn. Anita Louise, once a popular ingénue, is the bitchy co-ed here, killed off early in the film, and the remaining co-eds and Harding as their devoted den mother. They are all together at the fraternity cabin where the killer is cleverly trapped.

Ironically, one of the co-eds, an obvious acting major, insists on talking like Hepburn throughout, just one indication that while this surrounds a murder, the atmosphere is often played for laughs with bitchy dialog between all of the girls while Harding remains calm, cool and collected. Jeff Donnell is the masculine " Butch", although it is made clear that she's called that because of her athletic abilities rather than her sexuality. Leslie Brooks, Marcia Mae Jones, Nina Foch and Jinx Falkenburg are among the other girls, often blending together and not immediately identifiable. More comic buffoonery is provided by the often insipid investigators, which includes crotchety William Demarest. This is an above average programmer that might keep you guessing. On the other hand, you may figure it out pretty early as I did.
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