2 May 2018 | rhoda-9
Entertaining feature with some unpleasant aspects
This is an okay, rather lighthearted crime/newspaper picture, not at all the grim movie one would expect from the title. Its main detriment is Brenda Marshall, who has zero chemistry with George Brent (looking a bit seedy, but a bit like a second-string Clark Gable), an unattractive profile, and a very tight, cold, humourless manner. What William Holden saw in her, God alone knows. But Brent is as smooth as ever, and there are old friends like Roscoe Karns, Percy Halton, and the chillingly believable Eduardo Ciannelli, with his face rapidly collapsing from Joker-style phony bonhomie to ice-cold murder.
The plot doesn't take itself very seriously, and is sometimes indecipherable, but there are plenty of amusing scenes. But, though Brenda is unsympathetic, the treatment of her, expressing the 1940s idea of the "right" way to live, still has a nasty taste. Three times during the movie she faints dead away because of what she hears, sees, or fears she is about to see (ie, women are not tough enough to be reporters). Then, at the end of the movie, she says she won't give up her career after marriage to George Brent, that they won't have children for a long time. His gesture to the camera shows that he will make sure that's not the case. While a similar "adult" joke at the end of Bachelor Mother was very cute, this is quite unpleasant. It says that Brent will make his wife pregnant against her will or without her knowledge (a very unpleasant picture comes to mind). At the time this was considered cute too, but it sure isn't now.