Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Lady in Scarlet|
Actors: Reginald Denny, Patricia Farr, Jameson Thomas, Dorothy Revier, James Bush
Director: Charles Lamont
Genres: Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Gotham (dba Alpha) Release Date: 05/25/2004
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Member Movie Reviews
Matt B. from GETZVILLE, NY
Reviewed on 3/30/2012...
Poverty Row studio Chesterfield sometimes produced better than average B-movies. The Lady in Scarlett was a happy departure from mediocrity. Making hay after the success of The Thin Man, this movie features good-looking leads, snappy dialogue, and elegant settings and furnishings, if you can handle the sham-fancy junk that passed for “Euro-antiques” in the middle Thirties.
Reginald Denny, best known as Bulldog Drummond’s sidekick Algy, plays a lawyer-PI. Patricia Farr plays his secretary and would-be girlfriend. Denny does comedy skillfully enough, but he seems a little stiff and plodding in this one. Farr, an ivory-skinned brunette, dazzles as she contrasts her baby-face with her sassy cracks and easy-going manner. Only 22 when she made this movie, she was to pass at only 35 in 1948.
The plot is fairly complex for a 67-minute movie. A worried wife (Dorothy Revier) hires the PI because her husband is acting furtively. After the husband is murdered, the police uncover a difficult constellation of adultery, blackmail, and missing bonds that amount to $100,000.00. The daughter of the victim, played by Claudia Dell, brightens things up with wild accusations and cool blonde beauty. The homicide detective is typically dim-witted. When asked by a lawyer using fifty-cent words, “Do you condone these procedures,” he stares blankly, as if addressed in Chinese.
To sum up, like a lot of programmers, it would have been better if they had spent a little more time rehearsing and lightening up the sometimes mean-spirited banter. But it’s fine for mystery buffs, especially fans who like the era from the Thirties to the Fifties.
The only thing missing is Asta
Steven Hellerstedt | 07/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THE LADY IN SCARLET stars Reginald Denny as playboy slash private eye Oliver Keith and Patricia Farr as girl Friday slash Saturday night fallback Ella Carey. The dvd jacket blurb coyly calls this a "thriller reminiscent of THE THIN MAN." They're being much too modest. For all the filching the makers of this movie did they might have well called it The Purloined Leitmotif. It's probably a coincidence that Barbara Stanwyck's THE WOMAN IN RED was released shortly before THE LADY IN SCARLET. It would be terrible if audiences got the two confused. Well, as the old saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery -- but just try telling that to a copyright lawyer.
Still, you have to hand it to them. The film makers were able to write what would have been a decent first draft for a real Thin Man movie, find credible stand-ins for William Powell and Myrna Loy, and deliver it to theaters in less than a year.
Old man Albert Sayres and young and beautiful trophy wife Julia are a bit on the outs. Antiques dealer Sayres is jealous of any man who looks at his bride, and goes as far as hiring a private eye to tail her and catch her in a comprising situation. Sayres is murdered before Denny's Keith has had a chance to down his third cocktail. Being an old friend of Julia Sayres, he is soon in the middle of the investigation. What follows is an effective little plot involving a disputed will, a clutch of believable suspects and some delightfully unexpected light comedic moments.
To its advantage, THE LADY IN SCARLET also appropriated THE THIN MAN'S relaxed, wise-cracking ambiance. Oliver's and Ella's repartee may lack the charm and sparkle of Nick and Nora's banterings, but that's probably the fault of an inferior script and a rushed production schedule. It's a pleasure to see one of these old Poverty Row products and not feel like the actors are auditioning for the part of cigar store indians.
If you're a fan of the Thin Man series and are in the mood of a variation on the theme, THE LADY IN SCARLET is your ticket."
"He can't work overtime. It interferes with his drinking." -
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 05/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Isn't she cute?" -- Oliver referring to Ella
"Yes. Someday I'm going to have a lot of fun investigating her murder." -- The Inspector
This fine little mystery from Chesterfield is a fun and charming "B" with sets and a story a cut above many others. It's nice to see "Bulldog Drummond's" right hand, Algy (Reginald Denny), get to be the lead and he does a nice job as the man-about-town detective. On loan from Fox, Patricia Farr has fun as his gal Friday and girlfriend, Ella.
The title refers to a show in which a pretty blonde portrayed the character. She, Julia, needs Oliver's (Denny) help when her husband Albert is murdered. The script by Robert Ellis and Helen Logan, based on Arthur Hoerl's story, is pretty tight, and gives the viewer a real mystery to solve while Oliver and Ella wisecrack and drink.
Another pretty blonde, Albert's disowned daughter Alice, and her husband-to-be, point the finger at Oliver's client, but blackmail, an affair, and some missing bonds worth a hundred thousand in cash muddy up the long list of suspects. Oliver is a step ahead of his cop friend's investigation and gathers the suspects together in "Thin Man" style after another murder occurs to trick a killer.
Made in 1935, it's all pretty laid-back and Denny makes the most of his suave lead role, playing well off the cute and brassy brunette, Farr. He calls her Stupid throughout the entire film but it's obvious who really has the upper hand. Director Charles Lamont doesn't let things bog down at any point so our interest never wanes.
A delicious little mix of cocktails and a killer, with a fun lead couple and good supporting players, "The Lady in Scarlet" was made for a Saturday afternoon, which was probably when it was originally shown. Good fun for mystery fans."