6.7/10
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The Lucky Stiff (1949)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime | 26 May 1949 (USA)
Semi-successful lawyer John Malone is intrigued by local night club singer Anna Marie St. Clair. After meeting her at the club, he is present when her boss (and more?) is killed, and she is... See full summary »

Director:

Lewis R. Foster

Writers:

Lewis R. Foster (screenplay), Craig Rice (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dorothy Lamour ... Anna Marie St. Claire
Brian Donlevy ... John J. Malone
Claire Trevor ... Marguerite Seaton
Irene Hervey ... Mrs. Eve Childers
Marjorie Rambeau ... Hattie Hatfield
Robert Armstrong ... Insp. Von Flanagan
Warner Anderson ... Eddie Britt
Virginia Patton ... Millie Dale
Richard Gaines ... Dist. Atty. John Logan
Joe Sawyer ... Tony
Larry J. Blake ... Louie Perez (as Larry Blake)
Billy Vine Billy Vine ... Joe Di Angelo
Bob Hopkins Bob Hopkins ... MacDougal
Sidney Miller ... Bernstein
Charles Meredith ... Jim Childers aka Big Jim
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Storyline

Semi-successful lawyer John Malone is intrigued by local night club singer Anna Marie St. Clair. After meeting her at the club, he is present when her boss (and more?) is killed, and she is arrested for the crime. Sentenced to death, Malone and his faithful secretary set out to find the real murderer, who is probably also responsible for a protection racket Malone is investigating. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 May 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Det lyckliga liket See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Quicksand (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

LONELINESS
Music by Victor Young
Lyrics by Ned Washington
Sung by Dorothy Lamour
Staged by Eddie Prinz (as Edward Prinz)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Routinely unbelievable
16 June 2013 | by AAdaSCSee all my reviews

Lawyer Brian Donlevy (Malone) visits his usual nightclub where he is asked by wealthy old lady client Marjorie Rambeau (Hattie) to put a stop to the protection racket that is spreading across town and forcing prices up. He visits this particular club because he has got the hots for singer Dorothy Lamour (Anna Marie St. Clair). He arranges with nightclub owner/gangster Charles Meredith (Jim Childers) for an introduction to Lamour and requests that she sings another song. However, this song never materializes as moments after meeting Dorothy, she is arrested for shooting big boss Meredith. She gets the death sentence and it's up to Donlevy and his assistant Claire Trevor (Maggie) to get to the truth of what really happened and find out who is behind the protection racket.

Beware that this is not a serious film. It is part-serious and part-comedy (but never funny) and you may be disappointed. I was. The film needed to be one or the other. There are good sequences such as Lamour appearing at a window in a cafe one stormy night after it has been announced that she is dead. Put this scene into a serious film and it's good. Put it into a comedy and it's wasted. Just as so much else is. The plot is totally stupid and half the cast play for comedy, with 2 main offenders being Inspector Robert Armstrong (Von Flanagan) who plays a stereotypical stupid policeman who is never funny but tries to be, and Claire Trevor who plays things in a slightly laid-back manner and gets lumbered with some slapstick. This takes all the tension out of the proceedings and, quite frankly, helps to ruin the film.

We do get some amusing parts such as Lamour walking around with her head completely covered up, but again, this would be a nonsense in a serious film. Nobody seems to question this peculiar behaviour which is totally unbelievable. You need to suspend belief for this one and a few clichés are thrown in - you'll know the sort - someone is about to spill the beans when BANG. They get shot. Yep, that happens. More than once. There also seems a little bit too much going on at times and Donlevy never really convinces as a lead man in this mish-mash. What's a lawyer doing trying to sort this mess out anyway? It's up to the police!

There is a cool car in this film, but, unfortunately, it gets involved in another tiresome slapstick routine on one occasion. Things like this dragged the film down so I have to conclude that as it is not a serious film, nor is it a comedy, nor given the title is it a porno.......it just isn't particularly good. You may or may not guess the outcome but it really doesn't matter. It's watchable but that's it.


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