Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tonight's Movie: Homicide For Three (1948)

A few days ago I watched Audrey Long in the new Warner Archive release STAR STRUCK (1948) and Warren Douglas in another new Archive DVD, INCIDENT (1948).  Both crime films were originally released by Monogram.

That same year Douglas and Long teamed up to costar in HOMICIDE FOR THREE (1948) for Republic Pictures.

Douglas and Long play Peter and Iris, a naval officer and his wife celebrating their first anniversary and honeymoon all in one. Peter had left for service immediately after the wedding ceremony, but now he's on three days' leave in Los Angeles just in time for their anniversary. All Peter and Iris want is to be alone in a hotel room!

Unfortunately there's a convention in the city and it's difficult to get a room, but then a nice woman at a hotel reception desk overhears their plight and offers them use of her room while she's out of town. Little do Peter and Iris know that their honeymoon will instead be spent dealing with all sorts of problems including the murder of Iris's lookalike cousin, Mona...

HOMICIDE FOR THREE is more lightweight than the Monogram films with Long and Douglas I just reviewed, but it does have something good going for it. As a reviewer noted at IMDb, "...it's worth noticing the very real, honest presence of the main actress, a lively and natural Audrey Long." Long is on screen for most of the movie, and I enjoyed it as a chance to see a bit more of her work.

The story gets a little confusing, but it's over and done in a quick 60 minutes, and there are a couple of things which people who watch a lot of movies will especially enjoy. I burst into laughter when perennial '50s villain Robert J. Wilke showed up at the end as an exasperated police officer! That's the kind of thing that's not part of the script, but looking at it in historical retrospect, it tickled my funnybone. The other cop was stuntman/bit player Chuck Roberson, who turns up in countless John Wayne films.

Lloyd Corrigan, who played kindly but befuddled businessman Arthur Manleder in the Boston Blackie detective series, here plays a famous criminologist, which I found an amusing change of role.

The supporting cast also included Grant Withers, Stephanie Bachelor, George Lynn, Tala Birell, Benny Baker, and Benny Curtis.

HOMICIDE FOR THREE was directed by George Blair and filmed in black and white by John MacBurnie.

The screenplay by Bradbury Foote was based on the novel PUZZLE FOR PUPPETS ("A Peter Deluth Mystery") by Patrick Quentin. Per IMDb, Patrick Quentin appears to have been a pseudonym for Richard W. Webb and Hugh Wheeler.

Sincere thanks to John Knight for helping me to see this film.

HOMICIDE FOR THREE can currently be streamed at Amazon.

7 Comments:

OpenID vienna said...

Sounds good, Laura. I like Audrey Long.

11:30 PM  
Blogger john knight said...

1536Hi Laura,
So glad that you enjoyed the film,a wonderful review BTW.
Since Mark provided us with that wonderful gallery of Republic Noir
posters over at Where Danger Lives I have been on a mission to track down
as many of these little gems as possible.
I rather like the Audrey Long- Warren Douglas team and POST OFFICE INVESTIGATOR is also on my list to track down.
Warren Douglas is interesting as he was a B movie actor for Republic
and Monogram who went on to become a very good writer.
JACK SLADE,CRY VENGEANCE,LOOPHOLE,FINGER MAN and DRAGOON WELLS MASSACRE
are just some of his impressive credits. He also wrote the submarine flick
TORPEDO ALLEY which is high on both our wants lists just for the amazing
cast alone.Later in his career Douglas became a "house" writer for Warner
Brothers on such classic shows as CHEYENNE,SUGARFOOT and BRONCO.
There are several other Warren Douglas B pictures that I would like to track
down especially THE TRESPASSER.....Dale Evans in a Noir!
I am also very keen to see FORGOTTEN WOMEN from Monogram,Douglas only has a
supporting role in this one but the cast is one no B Movie lover could
resist!

2:46 AM  
Blogger john knight said...

More warren Diouglas..............

Warner Archive have released/are releasing such a wide range of titles it gets
confusing as to what's out already and what has not yet,so far been released.
I had an idea FORGOTTEN WOMEN had been released somewhere,but so far it has
not. What's even more confusing is what Monogram/Allied Artists titles are
owned by Warners and which ones were sold off decades ago to Republic.
I DO hope that FORGOTTEN WOMEN is one owned by Warners as it sounds great.
Another title Douglas was in,albeit only in a bit part was THE GREAT JEWELL
ROBBER. This is a Warner Brothers title so far unreleased,but it sounds
sensational and with a Borden Chase script as well.
As I have said elsewhere I am quiet happy for these B Crime/Noirs to be
released as single feature DVDs because the reproduced poster artwork is
so appealing. I DO wish something could be sorted out with the Republic
titles which as far as I know are trapped in Paramount's vaults.

3:21 AM  
Blogger Jerry E said...

Thanks, Laura, for bringing attention to these little-known but deserving little films for Monogram and Republic. I must try to get hold of at least some of them. They sound like my kinda movie.

3:45 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Glad to hear from another Audrey Long fan, Vienna!

John, what fantastic information. Warren Douglas's second career had escaped me. I'll be looking into that more. Very interesting! Looked up the cast of FORGOTTEN WOMEN, it does look fun, including Mark Harmon's mom! :)

And I really agree about the artwork. The Warner Archive Monogram and Allied Artists covers looks great.

Jerry, I'm really happy I can call attention to them! I'd hate to see movies like this fade into obscurity and not be available to future generations. I like to help publicize what's out there to see beyond the classics we all know and love.

Best wishes,
Laura

9:47 PM  
Blogger john knight said...

Hi Laura,
Never knew that Elyse Knox was Mark Harmon's Mom.
It's also interesting that Jeanne Cooper was Corbin Bernsen's
Mom.
The Elyse Knox film that I am looking forward to is
I WOULDN'T BE IN YOUR SHOES a Monogram Noir where she co-stars
with Don Castle. I do believe this is a Monogram Film that
Warners do hold the rights to.
Such a shame that the other studios do not have the fantastic
commitment to vintage films that Warner Archive do.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Glad I could fill you in on the Harmon connection, John! It's fun to discover the parents and grandparents of current actors. Another fun one: you may know that Anne Gwynne's grandson is Chris Pine.

I WOULDN'T BE IN YOUR SHOES sounds like another one I'd love to check out!

Best wishes,
Laura

9:18 PM  

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