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

Thursday, April 7, 2011


THREE BLONDES IN HIS LIFE (1961). Director: Leon Chooluck.

"You don't have to listen to a word I say. I just want to know what you're going to have for your last meal."

Insurance investigator Duke Wallace (Jock Mahoney) looks for a missing colleague, Bill Collins, and discovers that the man's disappearance may not only be tied into a case dealing with a valuable stolen necklace, but to another case where a married man died after drunkenly driving off an embankment. Wallace has his hands full not only determining if the two cases add up to insurance fraud and murder, but finding out which of the three women associated with these cases may be involved -- and possibly responsible for Collins' homicide. Jock Mahoney plays Wallace in just the right note; in fact he's so perfect as a hard-boiled private eye that it's a wonder a TV series was never built around him -- he would have made an excellent Michael Shayne [in fact this whole movie is highly reminiscent of a Mike Shayne novel]. Jesse White is fine as another associate of Wallace's, but blond and bosomy Gretta Thyssen probably makes the biggest impression as the wife of the man who died in the car accident. [Thyssen also appeared in Terror is a Man. Elaine Edwards, who plays Collins' wife, Lois, was also in Curse of the Faceless Man. Anthony Dexter, who plays bad boy Charlie, starred as Valentino and in Fire Maidens of Outer Space.] While Three Blondes in His Life may not be a great picture and has its improbable moments, it does have suspense, good performances, and a certain tough and sexy atmosphere that puts it a notch above similar items.

Verdict: Entertaining if cheap and TV-like. ***.

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