For Reel

Lured (1947)
March 28, 2015, 12:56 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Douglas Sirk
3.5 Stars
LuredBefore moving on to directing some of the most prestigious melodramas of the 1950s, director Douglas Sirk took on this unusual film noir starring a rather unlikely cast. Lucille Ball plays an American transplant in London who scrapes by as a dance hall girl. When a coworker goes missing, she is recruited by Scotland Yard to serve as the bait to catch a suspected serial killer. Ball brings the expected snark and pluckiness to the role. She is giving the kind of performance that Ginger Rogers might have, which is slightly problematic due to a lack of vulnerability that seems essential to the part. George Sanders, on the other hand, is an inspired choice as her love-interest and potential suspect. He has the rare opportunity to personify a genuinely well-intentioned, romantic hero, all the while utilizing his ambiguous persona to suggest a potential for menace around the midpoint of the picture. The most memorable sequence involves a bizarre performance by Boris Karloff as a maniacal fashion designer. Sirk is interested in the utter perversity of Karloff’s objectification of Ball, which is a running theme throughout the picture–she is first introduced as a taxi dancer, then used as bait to catch a murderer, and finally obsessed over by both a man who loves her and a man who loves the thought of her dead.

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