Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tonight's Movie: Bermuda Mystery (1944)

BERMUDA MYSTERY is an engaging little 65-minute programmer from 20th Century-Fox -- which takes place almost entirely in New York City!

Connie Martin (Ann Rutherford) is convinced her beloved uncle, who lived in Bermuda, was murdered. The authorities in Bermuda declare he died of natural causes, so Connie travels to New York City to see her uncle's buddies from WWI, who are shortly due to cash in on money the men had pooled together years before.

Connie hires P.I. Steve Carramond (Preston Foster) to help her, and he agrees to investigate despite the fact he's getting married the next day. As Steve and Connie visit her uncle's friends, they leave a trail of bodies in their wake, to the consternation of Police Detective Donovan (Richard Lane), not to mention Steve's unhappy fiancee, Angela (Helene Reynolds).

This is a fun, fast-paced little movie with a good cast, including Charles Butterworth and Jason Robards Sr. Rutherford's character is a bit of a dingbat -- I liked her better as the resourceful cabbie in her next film, TWO O'CLOCK COURAGE (1944) -- but she's cute, and she and Foster have good chemistry despite their 20-year age difference. Rutherford was just 23 when this was filmed, while Foster was two decades older.

I had never really thought of Foster as a leading man until I saw him in the film noir THE HUNTED (1948) last spring, which caused me to see him in a new light. He's quite charming in this, and it's a bit of a shame it wasn't continued as a series, as the combination of mystery, comedy, and romance is appealing.

Rutherford and Foster would work together again in an unrelated film, INSIDE JOB, in 1946.

This film was directed by Benjamin Stoloff and shot in black and white by Joseph LaShelle.

My thanks to reader Mel for helping me to cross this film off my viewing wish list!


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