Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hollywood Stadium Mystery (1938)

It's the day after Christmas so I'm going to take the idea of this being boxing day to heart and present a great little mystery about murder at a boxing match.

Neil Hamilton plays a District Attorney investigating the murder of a boxer moments before a championship fight. The fighter collapsed with no clear signs of foul play after a tribute to a recently deceased champion. Forced to match wits and trade wisecracks with a mystery writer, played by Evelyn Venable, the DA must try to contend with an arena full of suspects including Smiley Burnette.

This is a great little thriller that gets along mostly on the winning performance of the two leads and the smart quips they trade. They are a later day Nick and Nora who are forever trying to one up each other so as to win which ever five dollar bet that is currently passing between them. While the murder itself doesn't make a great deal of sense when its finally revealed, you really won't care since you'll be having too much fun watching the DA and mystery writer try to out do the other.

I have to say that the look and feel of this movie is spectacular. Looking at it you'd be hard pressed to believe that this was a B-movie with its large cast, numerous and varying sets. Actually to be honest this is what B-movies really used to be, well produced features for the second part of a double bill. If it wasn't for the B-list cast this could easily pass for a main feature.

This is little gem that's worth keeping an eye out for.(In's in many bargain bins and collections)

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