Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tonight's Movie: Double Exposure (1944)

DOUBLE EXPOSURE is a fast-paced, amusing little "B" movie starring Chester Morris and Nancy Kelly.

Morris plays Larry Burke, the editor of "Flick" magazine. He hires small-town photographer Pat Marvin (Kelly) after seeing some of her work. When Larry meets Pat he's initially surprised to realize his new employee is a woman -- which underscores that times were different in 1944! -- but he's happy because Pat is both talented and attractive. He even arranges a job for Pat's "brother" Ben (Phillip Terry), who is actually her boyfriend from back home. (It's a long story.)

Through an odd series of circumstances, Pat is charged with murder and Larry has to find a way to crack the case before it's too late...

This 63-minute film is no classic, but it's amiable fun, with an unexpected goofy side which includes the lead characters occasionally "breaking the fourth wall" and rolling their eyes or talking to the camera. There are other funny touches, such as Larry and Pat's boss, Mr. Tarlock (Richard Gaines), being a health nut fond of handing out carrots and turnips to his employees. Viewers who appreciate the cast or "B" crime movies will probably find it an entertaining hour.

The film comes from the Pine-Thomas "B" unit at Paramount, which also produced the recently reviewed NO HANDS ON THE CLOCK (1941) and POWER DIVE (1941). Many of the early '40s Pine-Thomas films starred mix-and-match combinations of Morris, Kelly, Richard Arlen, and Jean Parker.

DOUBLE EXPOSURE was directed by William Berke. It was photographed in black and white by Fred Jackman Jr., who married leading lady Nancy Kelly in 1946.

DOUBLE EXPOSURE is available on DVD from the public domain company Alpha, which can be purchased at Oldies.com. The print is soft and fuzzy, as is typical for Alpha DVDs, but I didn't notice any skips or particularly bad problems.

3 Comments:

Blogger Jacqueline T Lynch said...

I'll have to keep an eye out for this one. I've become a fan of Richard Gaines. I love to see him in a movie, so adept at the goofy stuff as well as dramatic.

4:54 AM  
Blogger grandoldmovies said...

I really enjoy your posts that highlight lesser-known 'B' fare of the 30s-40s, which are well-made, fast, and entertaining - this sounds like a good one to keep an eye out for. Chester Morris had been a big MGM star in the early 1930s, though he seems to have settled by the 40s into making programmers, but he always remained a pro.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Jacqueline, Richard Gaines was sorta familiar to me but not someone where I'd managed to connect a name and face prior to last night. I'll be on the lookout for him in the future! He was quite cute in this, randomly pulling carrots and turnips out of his suit pockets and handing them out.

Thank you, GrandOldMovies! I love to go "movie treasure hunting," exploring the B's. There's a lot of worthwhile titles out there which are relatively unknown.

Hope you can each check this one out in the future. Although Netflix has a number of Alpha DVDs, they don't carry this one, unfortunately, at least at the time I write this. I picked it up in a "5 for $25" sale at Oldies.com.

Best wishes,
Laura

11:29 AM  

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