Sunday, March 20, 2011


Nurse Margaret Lockwood is on the verge of leaving her employer, a spiteful invalid (Irene Handl), but when the old lady promises to reform, Lockwood agrees to stay. Handl then promptly swipes the key to the medicine cabinet, takes too many sleeping pills, and dies of an accidental overdose. Lockwood is charged with murder and lawyer Barry K. Barnes gets her off, since all the evidence against her is circumstantial, but even he isn’t sure that she was really innocent. Lockwood has a hard time getting another nursing job, but when she is sent, anonymously, a help wanted ad for a nurse for another invalid, she changes her name and gets the job. Unfortunately, the same thing happens to her new patient, and Barnes, who by now believes in her innocence, agrees to defend her again. The acting and plotting here are fine, but there is almost no suspense; the film begins as though it's going to be a mystery, but it turns into a courtroom drama, and a slowly-paced, predictable one at that. Because we know that Lockwood is in fact innocent of both crimes, and we know who's behind the death of the second invalid, it's just a matter of waiting to see how Barnes will get her off in court; when he does, it's with a clever trick that was set up early--watch for the short seemingly unimportant scene in the barber shop. Barnes, who had a very short career in the movies, makes a perfectly pleasant leading man, reminding me a bit of Griffin Jones. Familiar faces who turn up in include Roger Livesay (as Barnes' roommate), Emlyn Williams, Basil Radford, Mervyn Johns, and Kathleen Harrison. On DVD as part of VCI’s British Cinema: Classic "B" Film Collection, Volume 1. [DVD]

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