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

Thursday, January 1, 2015


DISHONORED LADY (1947). Director: Robert Stevenson.

"You're a voluptuous pain in the neck."

"I'm mad about you -- in my own foul way."

Beautiful New York City magazine editor Madeleine Damian (Hedy Lamarr) tries to kill herself out of what seems to be ennui and is counseled by a rather patronizing psychiatrist (Morris Carnovsky), who encourages her to start a brand new life for herself. She meets a handsome scientist, David (Dennis O'Keefe), who lives upstairs and falls in love, but then her past intrudes, in the form of sleazy lover boy Felix Courtland (John Loder) and even sleazier former co-worker Jack Garet (William Lundigan). When Madeleine is accused of murder, David turns against her in the snap of a finger! [Why anyone would expect such a beautiful woman not to have admirers and previous boyfriends ... !] Lamarr [Crossroads] and the other actors are perfectly fine in this, but the screenplay is a load of rot. Paul Cavanagh and Natalie Schafer [Female on the Beach] are their usual adept selves as Madeleine's former associates, and there are appearances by Margaret Hamilton as a landlady, and Douglass Dumbrille as a prosecutor; both are swell. (Ms. Damian is quite a woman: it's not that she doesn't scream at the sight of a mouse, but that she's actually able to grab and pick up one of the little vermin without trouble! Faster than a mouse? Sure!)  It's fun to watch those two blond Hollywood pretty boys, O'Keefe and Lundigan [The White Orchid], having a knockdown, drag-out battle -- guess who wins? Lundigan is effective in an unusual bad boy role for him.

Verdict: An attractive, competent cast doesn't hurt, but oh that story! **.

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