Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Capsule Reviews 12/14/11 - Mystery

Time Out For Murder (1938)
Time out for murder is the first of three mysteries about a reporter, his photographer and the repo girl who is assigned to get his trombone back (don’t ask). They get sucked into the case of a woman supposedly killed by a bank messenger who is in love with a woman who tells the time on the phone (hey it’s from 1938).I don’t think the plot makes a great deal of sense. You can kind of figure who is behind part of it instantly because of what he is supposed to have said about the accused alibi. But the film makes things even more complicated by adding a second villain to the mix. It allows for some interesting bits towards the end but mostly it really seems like it was thrown is so things weren’t so obvious.

Over all the film is more a distraction rather than anything of substance. I came I saw I moved on to the next thing.

It's good but I can’t believe that there are two more films in the series.

Grand Central Murder (1942)
As a train pulls into Grand Central Station, a convict makes good his escape and gets loose in the terminal. He manages to call his ex-girlfriend- an actress opening that night in a nearby show. She's spooked and eventually tries to make her escape in a private car. However someone kills her. The police inspector brings all of the suspects together to try and solve the crime.

Overly talky attempt at film noir is a good little mystery if you can forgive it trying to hard. The film comes together as all the suspects relate where they were and what they did when our victim was killed. They also spell out why they might have killed her if they had dne the deed. It's a compact way of telling the story and allowing for the film to spin out in what is only a few hours of screen time. It also makes for a film that doesn't know when to stop talking.

talkiness aside, this is worth seeing when you run across it on Turner Classics

Follow Me Quietly(1949)
Serial strangler strikes the big city whe ever it rains. The killer calls himself The Judge. The police are baffled. Nifty little murder mystery is a precusor to David Fincher's Seven with his judgemental killer and rain soaked atmosphere. It's a solid little film, that feels like a typical Hollywood movie that is very much struggling to be a police police procedural, but it never quite manages it. Still it's a good little film, with a super ending, which while illogical, provides an exciting climax to the film. I should point out that the film has a strong performance by Jeff Corey as the partner of lead detective William Lundigan. Corey was always a strong actor who made a career in character parts but who rarely got anything close to a lead. Definitely worth tracking down.

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