Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated Detective/Mysteries TMP Lindsey ""

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Underrated Detective/Mysteries TMP Lindsey

Lindsey blogs about film at The Motion Pictures, a site that she has updated daily for the past two and a half years. Though the blog's focus is on pre-1970 films, a little bit of everything is covered, and Lindsey's motto is "I'll watch anything once." You can also find her on Twitter: @tmplindsey.

Dressed to Kill (1941)
Not to be confused with the 1946 Sherlock Holmes film of the same name, 1941's Dressed to Kill follows the far lesser-known Michael Shayne, portrayed by Lloyd Nolan. This film marked Nolan's third appearance as the detective. In total, twelve Michael Shayne films were made, seven of which starred Nolan as the sleuthing central character. Dressed to Kill is not an incredibly suspenseful mystery, but what it lacks in that area is made up for with a great sense of dry, sarcastic wit and a stellar lead performance by Nolan.

The Reckless Moment (1949)
Directed by Max Ophuls, 1949's The Reckless Moment is a tense film in which a mother (Joan Bennett), desperate to protect her children after the death of her daughter's boyfriend, gets wrapped up in a blackmail plot with a shady stranger (James Mason). Beautifully shot and scored, The Reckless Moment is also bolstered by fantastic performances across the board, especially from Bennett, whose anguish throughout the ordeal is strongly felt by the viewer.

The Red House (1947)
The cast of The Red House is headed up by Edward G. Robinson, a big name in the classic film world. But that star power hasn't stopped this film from falling into the public domain and being forgotten by all but Robinson's most dedicated fans. The lack of attention paid to The Red House is highly undeserved, for it's a truly great mystery. The story is quickly paced and full of suspense. It successfully keeps the viewer guessing, and Robinson's hard-to-trust character lends a very eerie mood to the film. 

The Second Woman (1950)
Another film that has unfortunately fallen into the public domain, The Second Woman tells the story of Ellen Foster (Betsy Drake) and Jeff Cohalan (Robert Young), two people who meet on a train. Jeff has a troubled past. Ellen is willing to look past that, sure that she can help him work through his issues. But before she can help Jeff, Ellen must uncover the truth about his mysterious misfortunes. The film's level of suspense increases as it progresses, and there are a number of surprises thrown into the story to heighten the sense of intrigue. LikeThe Red HouseThe Second Womanleaves the viewer guessing what is true and which characters can be trusted. The story has a fantastic edge of psychological drama, making it a very engrossing watch.

Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)
Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews are best known as a screen pair for their work in 1944's Laura, but they teamed up again six years later forWhere the Sidewalk Ends, a highly enjoyable detective drama that does not share the "true classic" status of the pair's earlier film. Andrews stars as a detective with a violent streak, Tierney as a woman involved in one of his cases. Adapted for the screen by the great Ben Hecht (Notorious,Scarface), Where the Sidewalk Endsis full of unpredictable plot twists and anticipation of what will happen next.

1 comment:

KC said...

This is a really useful. I've found a few things to add to my must see file. The Reckless Moment sounds especially interesting!