Spoiler Alert! I’m actually going to try to be more circumspect about this one, just to mix things up a little. Still, one can’t help but give away something.
I DVR’d Sinner Take All (neglected to write down the year) purely on the strength of the clever title. Let that be a lesson to me.
Just kidding. It really was not a bad movie. My problem was that while it was not exactly a good movie, it did not reach the level of cheesiness I seek for my blogging pleasure. Still, I watched the whole thing. I need a post. I’ll write about it.
The plot centers around a rich businessman and his grown offspring, two sons and a daughter. All four receive death threats. It is pointed out that most murderers do not advertise their intent, they just go ahead and kill whoever. It is never explained why this murderer does not follow that protocol. I could hazard a guess as to the ostensible reason (love that word, ostensible), but that would give away who the murderer is. It is one of those, “You couldn’t be sure THAT was going to happen anyways” reasons, but let’s not get into that argument.
The hero is an ex-newspaperman who has become a lawyer. As a reporter he worked for a newspaper owned by the rich businessman. Guess whose lawyer he works for now. This makes it easy for his old boss to get our hero back on the paper to cover the big story once the rich folk start to get knocked off.
The rich guy’s offspring are pretty typical: one son is a driven businessman like Dad, the other a ne’er-do-well drunkard, the daughter a madcap heiress. Our hero’s first task, while he’s still a lawyer, is to bring the daughter home so’s they can have a family summit about the death threats.
Of course she does not want to leave the speakeasy/gambling house she’s in (at least, I don’t know if it’s a speakeasy or legitimate nightclub; they weren’t clear) (this is where knowing the year of the movie may have been helpful, but let us not repine). He persuades her not by logic or appealing to her better nature but by threatening to slug her, so you just know they’re going to fall for each other.
This is only the beginning of the patronizing man-knows-best crap he pulls on her because, after all, he must keep her safe. Funny how later on the only way he can catch the killer is to use her as bait and almost get her killed. Oh, I KNOW it is more dramatic that way. I’m just saying. The irony, not surprisingly, is lost on the characters.
The head lawyer is played by George Zucco, who somebody described as “marvelously theatrical” in Dead Men Walk (which I wrote a blog post about). I was wishing he had a bigger part, because he brought a certain… ambiguity to the role. Or perhaps I was just remembering the vampire.
Well, now I’ve done it. If you watch the movie, you’ll be staring at George Zucco thinking he’s the villain. Or is he? Or isn’t he? I will neither confirm nor deny.
Another character I liked was the cop, a young man who I thought was better looking than the hero. If I’d have been the heiress, I’d have fallen for him. He’s not your typical dumb cop, either. He’s usually a step ahead of our hero, although still a step behind the murderer (I guess it would have been a short movie otherwise).
Of course I was sorry to be watching a movie about a boy reporter and not an intrepid girl reporter. You know how I love those. I perked up when I saw in the credits that Dorothy Kilgallen has a role. Kilgallen was a real life intrepid female reporter (don’t feel right calling her “girl,” although it is OK for movie characters, if you see what I mean). In this movie she is a sob sister with a small but pivotal role.
On the whole, I enjoyed the movie. The plot is convoluted enough to make it interesting. There is no shortage of suspects and if the solution is a little “Waaait a minute,” who am I to quibble? For one thing, to raise my quibble I would need to tell you the solution, and you know how I hate to do that.