THE LADY CONFESSES (1945). Director: Sam Newfield.
"I don't know what there is about the guy but he just sends me."
Vicki McGuire (Mary Beth Hughes) is looking forward to her wedding to Larry Craig (Hugh Beaumont), when who should show up but Larry's wife, Norma (Barbara Slater), who's been missing for seven years. While this causes a complication, it gets even worse for the couple when Norma is murdered and they become the chief suspects. But there's also nightclub owner Lucky Brandon (Edmund MacDonald), who may have been involved with Norma, and singer Lucille (Claudia Drake), who's carrying a torch for Lucky and may have been jealous of the dead woman. And what about Marge (Carol Andrews), the lady who photographs the customers, or Steve (Dewy Robinson), the bartender? Vicki decides to go undercover at the club to discover who may be keeping secrets, while Captain Brown (Emmett Vogan) conducts an official investigation. Beaumont was best-known for playing the mild-mannered father on Leave It to Beaver, but he could play different kinds of roles when required, such as detective Mike Shayne in several movies also directed by Newfield. In this he first appears doing a convincing drunk act, and has a very different personality from Ward Cleaver. This is a not bad "B" mystery with a good cast and an ending that you may not see coming. Newfield also directed The Lost Continent among many other "B's." Hughes, who also appeared in The Cowboy and the Blonde, was not a bad actress.
Verdict: Ward Cleaver on a bender. **1/2.