Monday, March 9, 2009

Lured (1947)

There is a film on TCM this evening, 3/9/09 that I don't think has been broadcast before. Perhaps it might interest you:

Lured (1947), directed by Douglas Sirk in high style, presents George Sanders as a good guy detective from Scotland Yard and Lucille Ball as a woman working with Scotland Yard who presents herself as bait to help draw a murderer out of hiding in London in this slightly satirical but enjoyable "gaslight melodrama". Among the suspects are Boris Karloff, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Alan Napier, and George Zucco. Btw, Boris Karloff's brief, highly amusing madman alone makes this movie worthwhile, but all the actors look as though they are having stylish fun, and I don't think that Lucy ever looked more beautiful than she does in this role. What a shame that Hollywood never seemed to know what to do with her in the '40s, leaving us with just a handful of screen appearances in better than average movies that decade, such as this movie, Dance, Girl, Dance (1940) and The Big Street (1942). Each in their own way hint at her considerable dramatic as well as comic potential.

There is a flair with which this movie was made that seems to indicate that the production may have been approached as a bit of a lark by the filmmakers. While the material is quite dark at times, there is a vein of humor running through the movie that was an enjoyable counterpoint to the grand guignol aspects of the plot. Also, considering that he is remembered as the most elegant of knaves in the movies, any time you get a chance to see George Sanders be noble, stalwart and true (but never dull) is very refreshing. Along with A Scandal in Paris (1946), I suspect that Sirk, whose hothouse "women's pictures" in the following decade can be heavy sledding for this viewer, (with a few exceptions such as The Tarnished Angels and A Time to Love and a Time to Die) was having more fun here than in his later, more coded, subversive genre films.

I hope that you'll let me know what you think.

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