13 February 2019 | rhoda-9
Routine comedy mystery
Lovely Patricia Morison had a minor and dreary career in the movies before she became known for her soprano voice and her starring role in the original production of Kiss Me, Kate. This film shows how sadly mistreated she was--her black hair is dyed blonde, and the hairstyle and makeup also make her look like Joan Blondell, the star of several comedy mysteries like this one. She was also told to act like Blondell, with lots of wide-eyed pouting and fuming, and the dialogue makes her out to be, as even her police lieutenant husband says, "a birdbrain."
Since the husband is the always likable Preston Foster, and since he does have to put up with a lot from this ninny, we can forgive him. But it seems a bit much for him to take her on a search of a suspect's apartment and say, "Help me look for clues" to someone who just swivels her head and stares blankly. The script is as low in consistency as it is in respect for women.
That said, the dialogue is often quite funny, and the story jogs on at a decent pace. The comedy mystery is a peculiar and, some feel, distasteful genre (what's funny about corpses and police brutality?). but if you're not bothered, you can count on being passably entertained.