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Monday, October 16, 2017

Lured (1947)

A serial killer known as the poet killer lures his victims by placing personal ads in the newspaper. After her friend (Tanis Chandler) disappears after placing an ad in the personals, a dancer (Lucille Ball) is recruited by Scotland Yard as bait to ferret out the murderer. Directed by Douglas Sirk (ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS), this is a terrific thriller. It's said every director has one Hitchcock movie in him and this is Sirk's. Sirk takes his time in setting up the plot with a major red herring but when the red herring is this good, who cares? Guessing the killer's identity isn't that difficult really but I love the way Sirk teases us with bits of distracting humor. A sequence with Boris Karloff as a deranged fashion designer is both amusing and frightening. Everyone recognizes Ball as one of the great comedy actresses but here she proves a strong dramatic actress as well. The B&W cinematography by William H. Daniels (CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF) drenches the film with atmosphere. With George Sanders, Charles Coburn, Cedric Hardwicke, Joseph Calleia, Alan Mowbray, Ann Codee and George Zucco, who just about steals the movie. 

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