Friday, March 18, 2011


Ricardo Cortez is a Shakespearean actor living in an apartment building in Vienna. He is talented and famous, but also has a reputation as quite a ladies man, and when he flirts with the rich (and married) Verree Teasdale who lives upstairs, she asks the landlord to kick him out of the building. The landlord cannot oblige, so Teasdale, her husband (Lionel Atwill) and her daughter (Anita Louise) make plans to move. Before they can leave, however, someone murders Cortez. Was it Teasdale, who, despite her supposed antipathy toward Cortez, may have been visiting him regularly? Was it Atwill, defending his wife’s honor? Maybe Louise, a sweet young thing who might have been tempted by Cortez playing a recording of Stravinsky’s hot-blooded “Firebird,” music that Teasdale calls “savage”? The plot takes some interesting twists and turns, though the ending is predictable. Dorothy Tree has a couple of nice scenes as Cortez’s ex-wife, a red herring suspect. The movie was shot in the round, so to speak; all four corners of the screen are rounded off. A must-see for Cortez fans. [TCM]

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