A Los Angeles socialite kills a man while home alone one night and claims he was an intruder she did not know. It seems like a clear case of self defense until the story hits the papers and people connected to the dead man come forward.
Visiting her two sisters and brother, singer Petey Brown lands a job at small-time-hood Nicky Toresca's nightclub. While evading the sleazy Toresca's heavy-handed passes at her, she falls ... See full summary »
Chris Hunter kills an intruder and tells her husband and lawyer it was an act of self-defense. It's later revealed that he was actually her lover and she had posed for an incriminating statue he created.Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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The opening narrative tells us that our story occurs in southern California, but that it may happen anywhere. From a street generously lined with palm trees, a late model auto pulls into the driveway of an attractive house in an upper middle class neighborhood. Thus begins the tale. Chris Hunter (Ann Sheridan) is excited because her husband Bob (Zachary Scott) is returning home from his latest business trip (of ten days). As it will come to pass, Bob and Chris have not been together much. They married only after knowing each other for a short time. Just two weeks later, he was shipped away to the Pacific for two years to fight the Japanese in World War II, not returning home until after the war (1945). So there is a hidden message here: loneliness.
The night before Bob's arrival Chris is attacked by a man whom we do not see as she enters her house. After a difficult struggle she is able to reach for a knife and kill her assailant in obvious self-defense. The police are shortly on the scene of the crime. While the account appears to be one of an assault and self-defense issue, it is much more. The fact of the matter is that while Bob was away, the dutiful Chris succumbed to temptation: another man's advances. She tries to hide her adultery. The problem is that the man whom she killed (Mike Tanner) was the one with whom she had the affair. No one would be the wiser except that a sleazy second-hand art dealer, Martin Barrow (Steven Geray) – he of the strange accent for a guy named Barrow – happens to own a bust, a sculptured head. Not only is it a likeness of Chris Hunter, but it has been "signed" by M. Tanner, the name of the dead man! Over time, Chris' lies will get her into trouble with both the law and her husband. Her life will implode.
Defending Chris is adviser-lawyer and family friend Larry Hannaford (Lew Ayres), steadfast to the end. But when everything comes out into the open, there will be a sensational shattering public trial. Lew Ayres is more than adequate in court, and he later has the soothing words for Bob and Chris when they need them. So does gossipy Paula (Eve Arden), who turns decent at the end. Jerome Conway is the prosecuting attorney, a pit bull, in court. By the way, if he looks familiar as a court lawyer, he had the same role (district attorney) during the same year (1947) in "Miracle on 34th Street." Los Angeles locales are used to good advantage. But although the leads (Ann Sheridan, Lew Ayres, Zachary Scott) are fine, there are two weaknesses: Roger (Douglas Kennedy), a bit of a heavy, wanders in and out very early on, and we never see him again. Also the movie length is at ten or fifteen minutes too long. Nevertheless it is entertaining, satisfying, and recommended.
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