Late Night Fun
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 03/20/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Had this fun little murder mystery from William Wellman not starred Barbara Stanwyck, it would certainly have been relegated to "B" status. As such, it is very fun and entertaining to watch, and the perfect "B" movie for a rainy night. Most of the more risque elements of Gypsy Rose Lee's 'The G-Sting Murders' already seemed tame by the time this was filmed in the early 1940's, but it offers a bit of nostalgia for the viewer today.
Stanwyck's Dixie is the center of this lighthearted look at Burlesque and the people who starred in it, hoping for the break that would get them to Broadway. What goes on in the old opera house where Dixie is playing, however, is as far removed from the Great White Way as one can get. During a raid by the cops, Dixie finds hands around her throat when the lights are out, and barely escapes with her life. She ponders whether a real killer might be around while fending off the brash Biff (Michael O'Shea), a comic in the show who's smitten with her. When a fake Princess (Stephanie Bachelor) shows up and the boss wants to bankroll her in a show, the claws come out and soon murder and blackmail take center stage while Dixie and Irish (Biff) do some snooping of their own.
The tone is easy and light, making for an amusing "B" mystery with a romantic ending. A nice cast includes: Iris Adrian, Charles Dingle, Victoria Faust, Frank Conroy, Gloria Dickson, Pinky Lee, Marion Martin, J. Edward Bromberg, and Gerald Mohr, who would later star on radio in a famous detective series. Stanwyck seems a bit uncomfortable at first, but once this one gets going, it has a certain charm you'll find enjoyable as the girls argue and romance while a killer prowls among them. This one's only for fun, with no real tension. On a rainy night, with a big bowl of popcorn, however, it's a fun time."