Gilbert Speaks on Film Noir, Lured

4 Dec

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My go to cure for insomnia, or when too many dead spirits want to drop in and chat, is Turner Classic Movies. Last night, I found a little gem called Lured and it featured my favorite red head. Did Lucille Ball aka Lucy Ricardo impress me with her role as a femme fatale? Find out after the jump.

Plot

Lured is a 1947 film that was produced by James Nasser and Directed by Douglas Sirk. It is a remake of Robert Siodmak’s 1939 French film. The film stars Lucille Ball before she was known as the Queen of Comedy, but you can easily pick up on her quick wit and sassy comebacks that made her famous on her television series: I Love Lucy. The film revolves around the fate of several missing girls who have answered an ad in the personal column.

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Lucille Ball plays the part of Sandra Carpenter; an American woman is now living in London and making ends meet as a taxi dancer. For those of you who don’t know what a taxi dancer is, let’s just say that they were paid dance partners hired by a dance hall during the early 20th century. Patrons (men) would purchase a ticket which entitled him to dance with one of the girls for the length of one song. It was not an easy life, but it paid the rent until something better came along.

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When Sandra’s friend Lucy Barnard (Tanis Chandler) goes missing after telling Sandra that she answered a personal ad, Sandra offers to work for Scotland Yard and Inspector Temple (Charles Coburn). Sandra is assigned a Scotland Yard bodyguard. George Zucco was an outright pleasure in his role as Barrett and I loved the way he and Lucille Ball played off each other.

While Scotland Yard tries to track down the serial killer, Sandra meets the handsome nightclub owner, Robert Fleming played sumptuously by George Sanders. Fleming, who is falling in love with Sandra, doesn’t know of her job with the police where she plays the bait by answering all the personal ads looking for young women as a companion.

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The serial killer is brazen enough to send a poem to Scotland Yard before kidnapping and killing another victim. The tension is high when Sandra answers an ad to model clothes for Charles van Druten (Boris Karloff). The designer is mentally unbalanced and Sandra is only able to escape with the help of her bodyguard.

Conclusion

There are several suspects, but we are kept on the edge of our seats as to the killer’s identity as Sandra and Scotland Yard work furiously to break up a human trafficking ring. When Fleming is blamed for the murders, Sandra must prove him innocent.

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The cast of this film are all in top form, as is the writing. Even though the subject matter is dark, Lucille Ball and George Zucco are able to bring us a few much needed chuckles. This is a must see film even if you don’t have insomnia.

 

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