Going through one of the boxes full of discs looking for something new to watch, I pull out this one. No idea how long I had it, or where it is from. The name sounds interesting so I toss it in the machine.
It is a Paramount Pictures low rent programmer starring, Preston Foster, Albert Dekker and Patricia Morrison.
Foster and Dekker are both Lieutenants in the New Orleans Police Department. They are both in competition for one opening as a Police Captain.
Foster is married to Patricia Morrison. Foster is out one fog filled night trying to retrieve some letters Morrison had written a former paramour. The letters could be taken wrong if they hit the papers etc. The problem for Foster is that he finds the man who has the letters, dead, with several large bullet holes in him. Foster rifles the man's desk and grabs up the letters, then beats the feet home.
Needless to say there are several witnesses who see him leave the house and street. When the body is found, Lt Dekker gets the call. He soon discovers that Foster was seen in the area at the time of death. Bingo, he has a suspect, Policeman or not.
The rest of the 75 minute runtime is spent chasing down the clues that pop up one after the other. First, Foster is the lead suspect, then, both the dead man's brothers top the list, then, it is the dead man's bodyguard followed by a singer (Jean Phillips)at a hot New Orleans night spot. This one hops all over the place before disclosing the real killer in the last two minutes.
Also in the cast is Dooley Wilson as Foster's butler and driver. Dooley would later claim cinematic immortality as "Sam" the piano player in, CASABLANCA. Look close and you will see Dorothy Dandridge in a small un-billed part.
Blonde bimbo, Jean Phillips supplies plenty of wise cracks in her 4-5 minutes of screen time. Patricia Morrison is ok, while the leads, Dekker and Foster are good as usual.
The film moves right along with veteran low budget helmsman, William Clemens, at the controls. Clemens directed several of the popular NANCY DREW mysteries as well as three or four of the FALCON series.
The look of the film is quite good with veteran cinematographer Leo Tover in charge of the camerawork. Two time Oscar winner Tover's work includes, I WALK ALONE, THE WOMAN ON THE BEACH, THE SECRET OF CONVICT LAKE, A BLUEPRINT FOR MURDER and DEAD RECKONING.
Darken up the story a bit, have Miss Phillips go mean, throw out the one or two comic lines and you could have had a nifty little noir.