14 December 2008 | blanche-2
In "The Crime Doctor's Courage," Dr. Ordway investigates the death of a man thought of as a black widower - both his wives plunged to their deaths on their honeymoons. The investigation leads to brother and sister Spanish dancers who might be vampires - no mirrors, one of them disappears during their dance number, and no one sees them during the day. The third wife of the black widower becomes engaged to the male dancer, and the plot thickens.
The plot is all over the place, but it's quite entertaining nonetheless. The other mysteries I've seen in this series have been pretty good. This one features, besides Warner Baxter as Dr. Ordway, Jerome Cowan and Hillary Brooke.
Baxter, who at one point made more money than any other star of his era, suffered a nervous breakdown, and these films offered him a chance to work without killing himself. He's so laid back and casual with his speech - it almost seems like he's ad-libbing. He lived for another six years after this film was made and after a lobotomy, developed pneumonia and died.
These films were made very quickly, so little details were often missed. These Spanish dancers supposedly have this amazing act where the female disappears in the midst of it and then reappears - yet they're doing it in this little club. They receive polite applause, and afterward, the host gets up and says that the audience may be wondering about the disappearance mid-dance, but it's no trick. The dancers have the ability to make themselves invisible. Tepid applause. A statement like that deserved a little more!