Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

You don't see that many comedies with a female lead, but this 1945 murder-mystery-farce-parody-musical-whodunit makes you wonder just what remaining genre Deanna Durbin couldn't lead?

Yes, she's the anarchic foil, while everyone else is the straight man, including the women.

Right from the opening shot this doesn't so much tread the fine line between horror and comedy, as charge straight to the extremes of each. There are several moments in here which, viewed in isolation, could well be the work of either the Marx Brothers, or someone like Hitchcock.

If anything falls short of working well in this breakneck sprintaround (a bit more intense than a mere 'runaround'), then I think it would be the challengingly large cast, and the occasional inclusion of a song. Neither of these elements will be a problem for followers of either genre though, so I just loved their unusual meshing here.

In an era when colour movies were becoming all the rage, what a shame that this verbose classic was only manufactured in plain ol' black and white.

But then again, given the subject matter, maybe it works best that way.

(available here)

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