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

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Tom Conway

A NIGHT OF ADVENTURE (1944). Director: Gordon Douglas.

NOTE: This review reveals "important" plot points. Lawyer Mark Latham (Tom Conway) has such a busy career and is so diligent with his clients that his wife, Erica (Audrey Long of Desperate), feels neglected. She moves into her own pad and begins seeing a fellow painter named Tony (Louis Borel). Mark goes to Tony's studio, where he discovers a jilted, drunken girlfriend named Julie (Jean Brooks), waiting for Tony with a gun. Attempting to disarm her, Mark winds up accidentally shooting her to death instead. Okay... Does Mark call an ambulance, just in case Julie is still alive? No. He gets his hat and goes home, then winds up being importuned by his wife to defend Tony when he is accused of murdering Julie. Throughout the trial Mark lies to his client, his wife, the police, the D.A. and everyone else -- does the word "disbarment" not mean anything to the man? Through it all Tom Conway shows less emotion or upsetment than if he discovered he's all out of hair dye. A Night of Adventure, based on a play, is meant to be clever but only comes off as increasingly idiotic and illogical, with a "hero" who's supposed to be brilliant and seems only remarkably stupid. At the end Mark flippantly tells Erica how he'll deal with everything without the slightest acknowledgment of the consequences of his actions. Admittedly, you're not supposed to take this frippery seriously, but even so ...! There are no laughs, and the screenplay is too moronic to hold any suspense. And Conway --- although the nominal star of this film he simply heads the cast list under the title and the word "with." He's not even the star of his own movie! It's as if he's being punished for delivering a terrible performance. Conway was George Sanders' brother but was never in his league as an actor, although he did give creditable performances in such films as I Walked with a Zombie. Gordon Douglas' most famous movie is Them.

Verdict: It's because of crap like this that B Movies get a bad rap. *.

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