WARNER BAXTER was approaching the end of his life by the time he did THE CRIME DOCTOR'S DIARY, the last film in the Crime Doctor series.
This above average programmer is slickly produced, written and acted in true "Crime Doctor" style with some nice performing by LOIS MAXWELL and a good role at the center for STEPHEN DUNNE as an innocent man released from prison and, as it turns out, wrongly framed for arson.
The plot has to do with a record music company delivering call-in juke-box service where patrons could request certain records to be played by request, a forerunner of disc jockeys. Haven't been aware of the existence of this sort of thing until I saw MY DREAM IS YOURS (same year) wherein Doris Day worked in such a record establishment where she could be heard by bar patrons.
WHIT BISSELL, who turns up in so many films from the '40s and '50s, does a neat job as a mentally deficient but good-humored man trying to get the music industry interested in his foolish folk song. ADELE JERGENS is the girlfriend of Dunne who has the courage to help him when he's on the lam after being hurt by a police bullet, and ROBERT ARMSTRONG is her jealous boss.
It's noticeable that there's no strenuous action staged for Baxter, as there usually is in a "Crime Doctor" movie, since the actor was obviously not well during filming. He gets to comment briefly on things and hasn't much of a role at all while others get to hold center stage.
But it makes a good crime doctor story and unfolds in a crisply efficient sort of way to make pleasing entertainment. STEPHEN DUNNE and LOIS MAXWELL are both seen to advantage here.
Summing up: Not bad at all. One of the more interesting in the series.
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