Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tonight's Movie: The Corpse Came C.O.D. (1947)

THE CORPSE CAME C.O.D. is a mildly amusing light mystery starring George Brent and Joan Blondell as rival reporters.

The movie's nothing particularly special, but it's one of those nice little time-passers with familiar faces which is pleasant to have on the TV on a Sunday afternoon.

The rival reporter storyline was something Brent had done a dozen years before, in the Warner Bros. film FRONT PAGE WOMAN (1935) with Bette Davis. This time around he and Blondell, both former WB stars, were starring in a Columbia film.

Movie star Mona Harrison (Adele Jergens) is shocked when she opens a C.O.D. crate, expecting bolts of fabric, and a corpse rolls out. The dead man is studio costume designer Hector Rose (Cosmo Sardo).

Does Mona call the police? Of course not! Instead -- fearing bad publicity -- she calls reporter Joe Medford (Brent), who's dated Mona and would like to see more of her.

Joe eventually brings in the police, in the form of Lt. Mark Wilson (stone-faced Jim Bannon). Joe and Rosemary (Blondell) meanwhile continue to investigate, both individually and as a team, as the mystery takes them around "Palisades" movie studio and Ciro's nightclub.

I have to admit that at the conclusion of the 87 minutes I was a bit surprised by whodunit!

The movie also features Grant Mitchell as the movie studio head and Leslie Brooks as the studio secretary. I rather enjoyed the absurdity that seemingly everyone at the studio, including extras in costume, walks in and out of Brooks' reception area, with the studio head sitting just a door away.

Una O'Connor and Mary Field play Jergens' maids. I came across an interesting still online of a scene featuring the actresses and Brent which does not appear in the film; it's seen here at the right.

Fred Sears, who later became a director, plays a police detective. Other faces in the film are Larry Berkes, Myron Healey, William Trenk, Marvin Miller, and Pat O'Malley.

The movie was directed by Henry Levin, whose credits also included THE BANDIT OF SHERWOOD FOREST (1946), MR. SOFT TOUCH (1949), THE PETTY GIRL (1950), THE PRESIDENT'S LADY (1953), and COME FLY WITH ME (1963), as well as more old favorites such as THE MATING OF MILLIE (1948) and BELLES ON THEIR TOES (1952).

The movie was photographed in black and white by Lucien Andriot. The script was based on novel by Hollywood reporter Jimmy Starr.

The film isn't out on DVD or VHS, but it turns up from time to time on Turner Classic Movies.


Blogger Raquel Stecher said...

When I first saw this title I thought it might be a sequel or companion to The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941)! I would definitely watch this for Joan Blondell and I love short B-movie mysteries. :-)

10:15 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

That's funny there are two '40s films with C.O.D. in the title! I should watch the other one. :)

It's a cute little movie, hope you can catch up with it in the future!

Best wishes,

10:47 AM  
Blogger Yvette said...

An aside: I think THE BRIDE CAME C.O.D. starred Bette Davis and James Cagney. But that's just off the top of my immediate head.

I love Joan Blondell, but I don't think I've ever seen THE CORPSE CAME C.O.D., Laura. It sounds like fun. I might even be able to tolerate George Brent - because of Blondell. She always made everyone around her better. I also love Una O'Connor. I'm going to keep an eye out for this one.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Yvette! I've not yet seen THE BRIDE CAME C.O.D. but have the Cagney set it's in, I'll have to check it out. :)

Thanks! Hope you enjoy THE CORPSE CAME C.O.D. when you have the chance to see it.

Best wishes,

11:56 AM  

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