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

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Frances Rafferty
MONEY MADNESS (1948). Director: Sam Newfield.

Julie Saunders (Frances Rafferty) has a dull life caring for her difficult Aunt Cora (Cecil Weston), when along comes a handsome and charismatic man named Steve Clark (Hugh Beaumont). Julie has no idea that Clark has stolen a great deal of money  -- this is revealed at the opening -- and needs a way to launder it. What if it turned out that the aunt had kept a fortune hidden in the attic, he surmises. Now all that remains is for Steve to marry Julie, get rid of her aunt, and claim the fortune. But how much will Julie go along with once she discovers the truth? Money Madness is a snappy bit of film noir whose main character is increasingly ensnared by evil and her own hidden desires until she's caught in a web that she can't cleanly get out of. Rafferty [Abbott and Costello in Hollywood] gives an excellent performance, as does Beaumont [The Lady Confesses], who is convincingly sociopathic. Harlan Warde plays the lawyer who advises Julie and tries to help her.

Verdict: Absorbing suspense film with fine lead performances. ***.

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