Tonight's Saturday Night Special is a fun and very interesting film from 1947 that features Lucille Ball in a non-comedic film noir, with an all-star cast!
"Lured" was directed by Douglas (Written On The Wind) Sirk, and that in itself should be enough to make you want to see it, and I seriously doubt you will be disappointed when you do!
Lucy is an American named Sandra Carpenter who has come to London searching for a better life. She works as a hostess in a dance club full of lonely men willing to pay anything just to dance with a woman.
She doesn't really like her job, but then, who does? One of her fellow dancers has just become a victim of a weird serial killer who meets his victims through the personal columns, and then sends the police cryptic Baudelaire styled poems before each murder happens, just to mess with them!
So Sandra is enlisted as bait to try and flush out the killer. She is to be watched all the time by members of the force to guarantee her safety.
One of her first encounters is with a very odd old dude named Charles van Druten as played by Boris Karloff. I've seen a lot of films with Boris Karloff in them, and I'll tell you one thing........
Sandra decides that Charles is off his nut a little, but is not a serial killer by any means!
The mood changes quickly, and it appears that Charles night be a little more than just eccentric!
Sandra is saved by a stranger who has a big tussle with Charles who then falls down some stairs and we never see or hear from him again!
Sandra is then shuffled off into a car with another weirdo in it!
The weirdo turns out to be George Zucco as Police Officer H.R. Barrett, who was also the one who saved her from Charles. It was really refreshing to see George Zucco in the role of a quasi-comedic crossword-puzzle-junkie police officer instead of some dour and menacing villain!
After that, every one of the gentlemen that Sandra meets has the potential to be the killer, and if they are not that guy, they are usually into something equally against the law, or just losers in general.
Alan (Terror By Night) Mowbray is the creepy butler Lyle Maxwell who is up to his elbows in graft, but he's not a serial killer!
Sandra is sent a note and a ticket to a concert by an admirer called Music Lover, and in a pretty funny scene she waits for the seat next to her to fill up. When this guy sits down she slyly tries to find out if he's the guy, but it turns out he's in the wrong seat!
I should be showing you shots of some of the other great actors in this film like Charles (Around The World In 80 Days) Coburn as Inspector Harley Temple, and the star of the film, George (Village Of The Damned) Sanders as Robert Fleming, and Sir Cedric (Uncle Simon, The Forms Of Things Unknown) Hardwicke as Julian Wilde, but there's not room for everything, and I just really like this shot of Lucy and George better! It's such an odd pairing!
Joseph (Touch Of Evil) Calleia as Dr. Nicholas Moryani is an extremely likely suspect, but despite all the nefarious activities he's into, he's not a serial killer! Joseph was in two very cool gorilla movies, "The Monster And The Girl," and "The Gorilla."
It's very mysterious that Lucy was 5' 7½" but Sandra's I.D. card shows that she was only five foot six.
Sandra is just about to get married to Peter Fleming when she finds this photo of her dead friend who had been abducted in the drawer of her future husband's desk, so they finally have a suspect. Too bad he's not the serial killer either! Tanis (Spook Busters) Chandler had the role of Lucy Barnard.