7 November 2001 | sobaok
Kay Francis B Noir Attention Getter
The last of Kay Francis' "Monogram Trilogy" WIFE WANTED is an absorbing film that holds your attention throughout. The film has atmosphere, with dark edges and a mildly convoluted plot. Francis plays a "fading star" (a better title for the film) who dabbles in real estate. She then discovers she's been duped and co-erced into a lonely-hearts club rackett(after a murder that could implicate her takes place). Francis produced the film and acquired the talents of former co-stars Paul Cavanaugh (from 1931's TRANSGRESSION)and Veda Ann Borg (from 1937's CONFESSION), among others. Teala Loring (Debra Paget's sister), as a duped, down-and-out actress, overplays her part to the extreme, which had the audience howling at a recent showing of the film in San Francisco (11/7/01). Francis looks quite chic and lovely in many scenes, especially in a nightclub sequence, bejeweled and in an amazing white fur. A great musical selection by jazz pianist Edgar Hayes as he maneuvers through a cocktail lounge on wheels is a film highlight. One has to admire Francis' guts and performances in her Monogram films. She underplays to great effect, especially in ALLOTMENT WIVES and this long lost "gem" WIFE WANTED.