Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Gene Raymond and Osa Massen aka Stephanie Paull
MILLION DOLLAR WEEKEND (1948). Director: Gene Raymond.

Stockbroker Nicholas Lawrence (Gene Raymond) steals a million dollars cash from the office safe and takes off for a "vacation." On the flight to Honolulu he meets troubled Cynthia Strong (Osa Massen using the name "Stephanie Paull" for the first and, apparently, only time), who is under suspicion of murdering her husband. These two people bond, developing feelings for each other, but they have to deal not only with their own possible guilt but with Alan Marker (Francis Lederer), who tries to blackmail Cynthia but then is content to run off with Nicholas' suitcase full of loot. Nicholas and Cynthia pursue Alan to San Francisco, where Lawrence is desperate to recover the money so he can return it before the theft can be discovered ... Million Dollar Weekend is a good and unpredictable suspense film bolstered by very good performances from Raymond [The Locket] and Lederer [Terror is a Man], and has a lively climax. Osa Massen [A Woman's Face] is okay as Cynthia. The picture doesn't have a lot of style but as the director, as well as star, Raymond keeps things moving. Massen's clothing was designed by Barbara Barondess MacLean, former actress turned fashion designer.

Verdict: Quick entertaining melodrama. ***.


Gary R. said...

To nit-pick: it's more accurate to say that actress "Stephanie Paull" changed her name back to "Osa Massen," which she had been known as in Hollywood films prior to this one. Thanks.

William said...

You're right! Apparently she used "Stephanie Paull" for only this one movie. I've made the correction and thank you for pointing out this error, which I should have caught. Best, William