Monday, February 7, 2011

Angela Lansbury & Raymond Burr in Please Murder Me 1956

The phenomenon of film noir produced quite a few obscure specimens. By its very nature, film noir was a low budget medium, despite its more high profile, high budget examples. This week I'll be covering some fun examples of the more obscure film noir titles, thanks to a DVD set that was loaned to me by my neighbor, Steven Menendez.
Angela Lansbury seemed to be cast in more than her share of film noir titles. Please Murder Me is one of them. She plays a femme fatal, one of the stock characters of film noir, who falls in love with her husband's best friend. When the husband turns up dead, his friend defends her for the murder. After he gets her off he finds out that she was never in love with him at all. She used him to murder her husband and get away with it, though his brilliance as a defense attorney. It's then that he plots to have her murder him so he can be sure she'll receive justice. The film has all the elements of good noir. It's moody in its cinematography, clever in its plot points and heavy handed in its acting, in a good way. Raymond Burr is a great counterpart to Lansbury.
This film is available on the Hollywood Bombshells Collection compilation put out by Pop Flix. The quality isn't great, but good enough to get the idea. It's also available on YouTube in its entirety, uploaded by VideosbyBob. Installment 1 is above. The poster is available at

Obscurity factor: 6 (available on DVD and YouTube, rarely screened on TV, largely unknown)

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