In 1848 NYC, a Frenchwoman visits exiled former French Marshal Thevenet to ask for his financial help in behalf of his French grandson but Thevenet's house staff schemes to kill him and take his fortune.
Two orphans, Polly and Doug, live with their stepmother Lynne; Polly collapses with the same mystery symptoms that killed her father. The kids' visiting uncle, Whitney Cameron, is warned that the symptoms match strychnine poisoning, but that poisoners are seldom detected and rarely convicted. Sure enough, no case can be made against the obvious suspect; so what can Whitney do to save the next victim?Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Most of this movie is a "did-she-or-didn't-she-do it?" story. Two family members have been poisoned and it looks like the mother, "Lynne Cameron" (Jean Peters) is the killer, but it's hard to prove. As the film goes on, one has more and more doubts whether she did it. Perhaps the innocent-sounding "Uncle Cam" (Joseph Cotten) is the killer. Hmmmm.....which one is it? Was it the pretty Peters or Cotten?
For most of the short movie, it was entertaining. It began to drag a bit in the last third but the film, since it is short, should keep your interest enough to find out who's the killer and how she-or-he did it.
I agree with those posters who felt the ending was a bit disappointing. I was looking for something a little more clever than was presented.
I'd also liked to have seen more scenes with the two supporting actors: Catherine McLeod and Gary Merrill. Both actors were fascinating. McLeod played "Maggie Sargent," the first character in here to suspect foul play after a child's death. Merrill played her husband, "Fred." He also was "Cam's" lawyer.
McLeod is deceptively good-looking and I wish I could see more things she did, but her IMDb resume indicates she mainly acted on television in the 1950s.
Overall, this is definitely worth one viewing. It is usually worth seeing the sexy Peters in her prime before she went into retirement a few years later. She did four films in 1953 and three more the next year, several of them being good film noirs ("Pickup On South Street" and "Niagara.")
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