Monday, April 2, 2012

Lured (1947) Review

I had the fine privilege to watch Lured (1947) starring Lucille Ball, George Sanders and Charles Coburn just hours ago. It's really tough to get hold of this movie because first, it's so old; second, Singaporeans have no appreciation for black and white movies; third, film noirs are even rarer; lastly, I do not have TCM channel and even if I have, I'll probably have to wait a decade before they show this movie.

Sandra Carpenter (Lucille Ball) travels to London and is supposed to be a performer but unfortunately, the company files for bankruptcy. An all American girl who is broke, Sandra has to work as a taxi dancer in a club. Her friend Lucy (Tanis Chandler) raves about going for a date and goes missing. She is believed to be the 8th dead victim of a famous "poet killer", who writes poems before a murder to taunt the police for being always being one step behind him.

Sandra goes to the police, and is hired by Inspector Harley Temple (Charles Coburn) and associates to act as an undercover to lure the killer out because of her keen observation, wit and breathtaking beauty. The killer sources out these young women by writing personal ads for dates and Sandra. Sandra becomes an employee of the police, and she has to answer these ads by pretending to be interested in these blind dates.

By coincidence or fate, she keeps bumping into Robert Flemming (George Sanders) who is the handsome and wealthy owner of a night club. At first, he wants her to work in his club as a singer and a dancer. However, he falls for her charm and beauty.

Complications arise, and evidence points to Robert being the killer. Sandra does not believe it, and tries to lure out the real murderer. Is there a real murderer, or will Sandra be killed?

Backdrop appears to be unclear, sound quality is only moderate, but what can we except? This movie was made more than 60 years ago!

I know I'm supposed to discuss the content and the actors' skills, but I have to say that Lucille Ball looked so gorgeous and perfect in this movie that it felt surreal! I simply cannot believe such a flawless female could ever exist! You really have to watch the movie to comprehend what I am saying. And bear in mind that video enhancements and all that technological crap to make people look more beautiful weren't invented yet. What you see is what you get. Lucy was really one hot and classy lady back then. Her features, her hair and her figure were all perfect! She was really one of the most beautiful ladies. Ever. Each time she appeared in a scene, I couldn't take my eyes of her. She also plays a model, housemaid, a glamorous woman and so on as an undercover. 

1947 was a period when Lucy left MGM due to some lackluster interests in her. She had to freelance and it turned out to a good thing because she was given not her usual musicals or stereotypical comedic parts, but to star in a film noir with other superb supporting actors. Her acting was superb. If you divide each shot to 64th of a second and really observe her expressions, you will see some flawless acting, and she wasted no unnecessary expressions. Such a fine actress should have been given more quality movies like Lured. You still see her tough verbal wise cracks in this movie, which is entertaining! I was so thankful that she had a lot of screen time! An A actor like her should have been starred in A movies! Even the toughest movie critiques always praised her and condemned the ever blind movie companies. And bear in mind that movie critiques seldom give rave reviews. They're the toughest ever.

I'm so proud of her and she's worth going through so much trouble to watch the movie! Fans of I Love Lucy should watch this movie because it portrays another side of her which is so different and disconnected from the screwball redhead, it just shows how talented she was!

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