For Reel


Having Wonderful Crime (1945)
August 6, 2015, 2:09 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
2 Stars
Having Wonderful CrimeMystery novelist Craig Rice (a pseudonym for Georgiana Ann Randolph Craig) appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in 1946, the first of her genre to achieve such as distinction. Her novels were set apart by their particular brand of zaniness–they were detective stories with a screwball sensibility. It comes as some disappointment, then, that an RKO adaptation released at the peak of her popularity is such a slog. The team of Pat O’Brien, Carole Landis, and George Murphy form the rare detective trifecta, with O’Brien playing the exhausted straight man caught between the bickering couple. It’s a fresh concept to interrupt the crime solving couple with a third party (imagine if Nick and Nora Charles never had the luxury of a moment alone), but unfortunately most of the comedy in the picture doesn’t play. Director A. Edward (Eddie) Sutherland evidently didn’t have the faith in the screenplay to carry the tone and employs Leigh Harline’s obnoxious, persistent score, which serves as the equivalent of a slide whistle that underlines the lame gags. Gloria Holden (most famed for Dracula’s Daughter) brings her uniquely icy screen presence and Carole Landis reminds one of the career that she might have had, but the picture doesn’t do anything to capture what might have made the novelist so successful in her time.