Thursday, 23 February 2012
I stumbled over this movie as I have a bit of a thing for George Sanders. I mean, what is not to love over suave bad boys with an English accent and a great fashion sense? He is so cynical and cool in All About Eve that you doesn’t realize until the very last scenes what a sinister character he really is. However, in Lured (also known as Personal Column) he seems to have been cast as first lover. The movie is a thriller- a serial killer lures young women through the personal columns and taunts the police with sending quotes of Baudelaire. Sandra (Lucille Ball) is a friend of the last victim that is drafted by the police to help with the investigation. While she answers various ads she encounters some more or less sinister people like a crazed fashion designer (Boris Karloff) and a butler that runs a white slavery rings. She also meets the playboy Robert Fleming (George Sanders) and his friend Julian (Sir Cedric Hardwicke). Sandra and Robert fall in love, but then evidence seems to point to Robert being the serial killer. Is that really true?
This is a movie where the part is much better than the sum. The cast is excellent. I have never seen an episode of >I Love Lucy even if I know about the show as a cultural phenomena, so this is the first time I have ever seen Lucille Ball act. I think she is splendid as a witty and plucky girl detective and there is some nice chemistry not only between her and sanders, but also between Charles Coburn as a fatherly police inspector and her bodyguard played by George Zucco. Sanders is his usual delightful cynic in the first half of the movie, but after he and Ball have finally fallen in love, they both quite fade. Luckily Sir Cedric Hardwicke steps in and saves it.
Unfortunately it is also a movie that seems to go in several directions at once. It starts as a thriller, veers into a brief episode of horror movie when Karloff makes his scenes (a much smaller role than the poster indicate) and then there is a romantic comedy as Sanders, entranced by Ball, finds and loses her several times. In the end it goes back to being a thriller again. There is also a rather touching little scene where Ball is answering an ad and meets a little boy who brings her flowers and says that his brother couldn’t come because he has been called into the army. I still enjoyed it as the acting is good and the separates scenes too, even if they don’t gel together.
As for costumes, Ball wears a number of rather horrible evening dresses, the best one being worn at a concert. A bustle like effect seems to have been fashionable around -47 and can be seen on the gown in that scene. Unfortunately I couldn't find any picture of the back of that one:
She does, however, wear some really nice daywear. Lots of nice details and pretty hats. For some reason also a lot of checkered fabrics.
I love that the lining of the coat is in the same fabric as her waistcoat.
It looks like she is wearing a scarf over her head, but it's actually the lining of her hood that is extended. I really like this detail too.
And that the same fabric is used for the pockets.
This coat is just beautiful, though you can't see the great fit here:
A scarf with dots matched with feathers with dots.
A boater in white fur (the back is black) with a matching muff.
A great fur that you can't see much of here, though the photo is lovely. Very full 3/4 bell sleeves with black gloves.
Cute button details on this jacket.
George Sanders sums up most his roles here, “I am an unmitigated cad”, but also watch it for the lipstick and the ladies hair!
Lured can be bought at Amazon or you can watch it in full on Youtube.
A murder victim in the making.
I always like close ups on hands- here a manicure that is clearly not a halfmoon-one.
(Picture sources: http://www.mojomovie.com/download-lured-movie-10048.html