Tuesday, September 01, 2015


Lawyer Ted Parkson (George Murphy) is a nice guy but has become obsessed with his work to the point where his wife Anne (Frances Gifford) feels neglected. One night, when the couple is supposed to go out on the town with their friend Vivian (Eve Arden), Ted begs off because he has brought home a new client, nightclub owner Tony Arnelo (John Hodiak). This is the last straw for Anne, especially when Tony begins a subtle flirtation with her; when Tony finds out that she has been dabbling in interior design, he asks her to head up a redesign of his club. She resists his increasing pressure to become his mistress, especially when she meets Claire Lorrison and discovers that she is also his lover. The next day, Claire is found dead and clues point to Anne as the killer.

As noirs go, this is fairly tepid. The one unusual aspect is that a woman is the noir hero—well-intended and sympathetic but caught in a problem partly of her own making. Gifford is good, indeed, the best actor in the cast. Hodiak is slick enough, but plays most of his scenes like a deer caught in headlights. Murphy is a zero—which, to be fair, his character is supposed to be, and Arden, as is often the case, shines in her few spotlight moments but doesn’t get much to do. 11-year-old Dean Stockwell plays the Parkson's son, and Dorothy Dandridge's mother Ruby as a very small role as their maid. Directed by cult radio figure Arch Oboler. [TCM]

No comments: