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

Sunday, March 2, 2008


BLUEPRINT FOR MURDER (1953). Director: Andrew L. Stone.

Joseph Cotten plays a man who comes back into the life of his late brother's wife and daughter after the latter becomes sick and dies in the hospital. Egged on by the wife of a friend, he comes to suspect that his sister-in-law (Jean Peters/pictured) killed not only the girl [her step-daughter] but his brother as well – for money. Will she also murder his trusting little nephew, the only person who stands between her and millions of dollars? When it turns out that there isn't enough evidence for a trial, Cotten determines to murder the woman on an ocean voyage before she can dispose of the boy. But can he bring himself to do it? And is he right in his suspicions? Oh, what a picture Alfred Hitchcock could have made of this fascinating, suspenseful story, although Blueprint for Murder certainly holds the attention in any case. The audience doesn't learn the woman's guilt or innocence until the very end of the movie. Filmed on a very low budget, the film generally has the appearance of a TV show when it comes to production values, but it's very absorbing and well-acted all the same.
Verdict: Worth a look. ** 1/2.

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