Brandy Kirby and crooked Lawyer Vincent Mailer plan to rob William and Maida McIntyre by producing a convincing double for their long-lost son. Brandy charms gambler Lefty Farrell into impersonating the missing son. Kathy, the McIntyre's niece, who likes Lefty, introduces him to the McIntyres who soon become convinced he is their son, but the old man refuses to change his will.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is an uneasy blend of mystery, suspense, and comedy. I am always dubious about mixed genre films, and I believe this could and should have been better as a straight film noir. However, it is still a good film and for all like myself who admire Lizabeth Scott and enjoy watching her films, it is a must. She was most famous for playing Dusty four years earlier, opposite Humphrey Bogart, in the stunning film noir DEAD RECKONING (1947). She was one of the best femme fatale actresses in film noir, though she could also show a warm, kindly, humorous and smiling layer underneath, as we see here. That entitled her to be 'redeemed' from her wicked ways from time to time in films. It is always nice when a femme fatale can be redeemed, but it does not happen very often, in life or on film. Scott is entrancing here as usual, and is the main reason we keep watching. The male lead is Edmond O'Brien. I wonder how Scott really felt when she repeatedly flung herself (with excessive force, I felt) into O'Brien's arms and began giving him passionate kisses. She does it often here. Doth the ladye embrace too muche? O'Brien was a very fine actor, and it was Ida Lupino who seems to have realized this most enthusiastically, for she daringly cast him in the lead for her provocative film THE BIGAMIST (1953, see my review), which was a triumphant casting coup. O'Brien also won an Oscar and an Oscar nomination in other films. But he was no handsome hunk, was podgy and a bit sweaty. It all goes to show how talent can overcome lack of looks. Terry Moore plays a dotty young niece in this film, with wide-eyed insistence and a very broad interpretation. She is meant to be the comedic character, and despite the ridiculous nature of her role and the absurdity it adds to the plot, she manages it nicely. In fact, one wants to give her an indulgent hug. So it all sort of works. Henry Levin directs this mixed pudding of a film and delivers a watchable product. Oh yes, I almost forgot the story. An elderly couple lost their child at the age of three on a street in Chicago and have never found him. Their unscrupulous lawyer and his girl friend Lizabeth Scott want to 'find' a man who will play along, pretend to be the long lost son (that's O'Brien), and inherit ten million dollars which they will then all split between them. But of course things turn out not to be that simple. After O'Brien is accepted as the son, things begin to unravel. As to what then happens, I ain't sayin'.
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