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Friday, August 31, 2012

Fortune Is A Woman (aka She Played With Fire) (1957)

An insurance investigator (Jack Hawkins) responds to a routine call regarding a small fire that destroyed an expensive painting. Arriving at the mansion, he's astounded to discover that the claimant's (Dennis Price, KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS) wife (Arlene Dahl) is an old flame. But when another house fire kills the husband and leaves the wife a very rich widow, suspicion and blackmail enter the picture. An unexceptional programmer directed by Sidney Gilliat (GREEN FOR DANGER) but to the film's credit it does keep you guessing till the very end and I was stumped until the final revelation. Nicely shot in black and white though the film would have benefited by color with Dahl in the lead. With Christopher Lee, Geoffrey Keen, Ian Hunter, Violet Farebrother, Bernard Miles and in the film's best performance, the plummy voiced Greta Gynt as a playgirl Hawkins encounters during his investigation.

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