14 December 2019 | boblipton
A Comedy Noir!
June Lockhart returns home and goes to a funeral. It's her own. When she presents herself to husband Mark Stevens, adopted sister Cathy O'Donnell, everyone has mild hysterics in turn. Even butler Milton Parsons faints on the stairs after he backs out of his employer's' presence. That leaves two questions: who was the woman they buried, the woman whose body was burned beyond recognition in a fire at the stables? And was it murder?
This movie is a very rare example of film noir: one with a sense of humor. Even as it fulfills all the tropes of the genre -- the characters flooded in striped shadows from Venetian blinds, the flashbacks, the two woman, one of whom is borderline psychotic -- it is filled with comedy bits. Even the scene where they are sweating the suspect, the head cop is Charles Lane, going on about criminology textbooks. Neither do the gags interrupt the story. Instead, they form the characters, make them individuals and point out the little things which can endear one individual to another.... or drive one to murder. It's a fine little movie.
Ambitious director Bernard Vorhaus never got out of the Bs, and the Blacklist put an end to his directing career. by 1952 He came back a few years later as an assistant director for Miss O'Donnell's husband, William Wyler under a pseudonym. He retired from credited participation in the industry in 1960, moved to England where he had directed in the 1930s, and died in 2000, aged 95.