Failed singer Marian Washburn confesses she shot her friend, successful singer Susan Caldwell, but her manager Luke Jordan and Detective Fowler doubt her story and cannot establish a reasonable motive.
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Susan is in the hospital with a bullet near her heart. Marian has told the police that she shot Susan in a rage as Susan was giving up singing. Marian and Luke found Susan when she was a failure. A singer with a limited range, she was a diamond in the rough which Marian and Luke taught how to walk, dress and talk. With the singing lessons, Marian had hoped that she would have the career that Marian would have had if she had not lost her voice. Even though Susan is a scatterbrain girl, Luke does not believe that Marian would have been capable of shooting her. Luke hopes that Detective Fowler will be able to find out the truth and free Marian.Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Though not really a noir, this emerged a surprisingly compelling melodrama. That said, prior to its late-night Italian screening, the notoriously eccentric commentator Enrico Ghezzi stated that the film Ray's second was forced on him by Dore Schary; it is evident because, if there's an auteur at work here, it's screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Ray's treatment, however, is sufficiently stylish to overcome the essential impersonality with which he approached the material and, at least, through working on this film, he met future wife Gloria Grahame!).
Even if controversy still rages over Mankiewicz' exact contribution to CITIZEN KANE (1941), he gives this one a similar flashback structure; of course, comparisons to Orson Welles' magnum opus won't do Ray's more modest effort any favors, so I won't make any! Still, while not especially memorable, the film can stand on its own two feet thanks largely to a fine cast (an unusually aggressive Maureen O'Hara, the volatile Grahame, the typically cynical Melvyn Douglas, Victor Jory as a wealthy but love-struck middle-aged man, Jay C. Flippen as an understanding police inspector). By the way, amusing though it is, the film's injection of humor is rather atypical for Ray particularly in the figure of Flippen's wife, who likes to carry out her own sleuthing!
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