Lured (1947)

“There’s a homicidal maniac loose somewhere in the vast honeycomb of London — a man with a weakness for pretty girls.”

Synopsis:
A showgirl (Lucille Ball) is hired by a detective (Charles Coburn) at Scotland Yard to track down a mysterious serial killer who solicits beautiful girls through personal ads. Thankfully, she’s shadowed by a helpful assistant (George Zucco) as she navigates a frightful encounter with a mad designer (Boris Karloff), is hired as a maid by a man (Joseph Calleia) whose leering butler (Alan Mowbray) makes continuous advances at her, then falls in love with a suave dancehall owner (George Sanders) whose faithful business partner (Cedric Hardwicke) remains calm and collected at all times.

Genres:

Review:
Douglas Sirk directed this quirky, atmospheric whodunit starring pre-I Love Lucy Lucille Ball (in her 73rd film!) as a plucky dancer willing to put her life at risk to help catch a murderer — and hired surprisingly quickly by Scotland Yard to do so. Perhaps due to Ball’s irrepressible penchant for comedic delivery, I found the film’s tone a bit uneven — and the rat-a-tat roster of characters coming and going (wait, was that Boris Karloff on-screen for just 10 minutes?!) makes it a tad challenging to keep up with what’s what and who’s who. However, some may find this unusual film to their liking; as described by TCM’s reviewer Jay Carr:

Lured is a delicious plum pudding of a cult movie dating from before the term was used to describe that tangy sector of pop culture heaven, or, for that matter, before pop culture entered the lexicon.

Meanwhile, William Daniels’ cinematography is consistently engaging, as are Ball’s gowns.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Wonderfully atmospheric cinematography by William Daniels



  • Fine gowns for Ms. Ball

Must See?
No; you can skip this one unless you’re a Ball fan, or curious.

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One Response to “Lured (1947)”

  1. Not must-see – but I wouldn’t say it should be skipped necessarily. For what it is (a mystery), it’s not a bad film of its type. I don’t find the tone uneven – nor do I find the plot all that confusing (it’s not a bad thing when a mystery keeps us on our toes).

    The cast is an unusual (therefore intriguing) combination of actors, the dialogue is often crisp, and Sirk’s direction is fine.

    All told, though it’s not a film to make a point of seeking out, it does hold attention if you happen to notice it’s being screened.

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