|THE CASE OF THE LUCKY LEGS (director: Archie Mayo; screenwriters: Jerry Chodorov/Ben Markson/Brown Holmes/from the novel by Erle Stanley Gardner; cinematographer: Tony Gaudio; editor: James Gibbon; music: Leo F. Forbstein ; cast: Craig Reynolds (Frank Patton), Patricia Ellis (Margie Clune), Lyle Talbot (Dr. Bob Doray), Allen Jenkins (Spudsy Drake), Porter Hall (Bradbury), Charles Wilson (Officer Ricker), Barton MacLane (Police Chief Bisonette), Joseph Crehan (Sgt. Johnson), Henry O'Neill (DA Manchester), Joseph Downing (George), Mary Treen (Spudsy's Wife), Anita Kerry (Eva), Peggy Shannon (Thelma Bell), Olin Howland (Dr. Croker), Genevieve Tobin (Della Street), Warren William (Perry Mason); Runtime: 76; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Henry Blanke; Warner Bros.; 1935)|
dreadful jokester Perry Mason episode."
by Dennis Schwartz
dreadful jokester Perry Mason episode
dishearteningly directed by Archie Mayo ("I
Married A Doctor"/"The Mayor of Hell"/"Charley's
Aunt"). It disdains the murder mystery in favor of its
lightweight bad jokester screenplay, as written by Jerry
Chodorov, Ben Markson and Brown Holmes. It's
inspired by the Erle Stanley Gardner novel. This is
the third time Warren William plays the big-time
lawyer and sleuth Perry Mason for Warners.
the sleazy con man who runs a phony "lucky
legs" beauty contest, Frank Patton (Craig
Reynolds), tries to leave town without
paying the winner, Margie Clune (Patricia
Ellis), the thousand dollars she won, she
follows him before he can flee and he's found the next
day knifed to death in his hotel room with a doctor's
surgical knife in his heart. Colonel Bradbury (Porter
Hall), Margie's middle-aged smitten boss, wanting to
marry her, hires Mason to find her when she's missing
and also to recover the money so it could go to the
winner. When Margie's discovered living in a hotel
with her new roommate Thelma Bell (Peggy
Shannon), a former winner of the legs contest
who was also cheated out of her winnings, the case
turns to finding the killer of the scoundrel. The main
suspects are Margie's prudish jealous boyfriend Dr.
Doray (Lyle Talbot) or the romantically possessed
sassy secretary Della Street is played with proper
spunk by Genevieve Tobin. Allen
Jenkins plays the dim-wit Spudsy,
who does the leg work for Mason as his private
dick. Barton MacLane is amusing as the gruff cop,
who would like to arrest the entire cast. Olin
Howland plays the boozer Mason's physician, who
puts him 'on the wagon' with a milk diet and
conducts a nonsensical physical exam of the
patient while Mason's explaining to a room full of
cops who is the killer.
Not much to
take away from this effort to blend together
screwball comedy with a crime drama, except it
doesn't work here.
REVIEWED ON 9/1/2014 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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