Monday, November 6, 2017


In contrast to Douglas Sirk's films from the 1950s, his film Lured is in a class of its own. (In fairness, it is a remake of a film by Robert Siodmak, he himself a familiar figure of noir.) But what is the film about?

A serial killer is on the loose in London, taunting Scotland Yard with poems about the victims. After her friend goes missing, taxi dancer Sandra Carpenter (Lucille Ball) agrees to help the police find the culprit. But will she find who's responsible or become the next victim?

Sirk may be synonymous with melodramas nowadays but as he showed here with Lured (and The Tarnished Angels the following decade), he could also handle more sober material. That said, there are a few traits here that are also on display in his more famous works.

Similarly, before she became synonymous with comedy within a matter of years, Ball was also adept at the genre's polar opposite. As she showed previously with Dance, Girl, Dance and The Dark Corner (released the year before), she often played the street-smart gal with the thick New York accent (not an uncommon role for most actresses then). In other words, Ball could do projects with a jaded atmosphere to it and her characters.

Lured is certainly not the kind of picture you'd see Sirk making but it pays off in the end. (Imagine if he had made a melodrama noir.) It seems that the German director had a somewhat wearied view on the American concept of achieving either fame or fortune (as his later films would depict) as well as seeing life as a very fickle thing. And that's all on display here.

My Rating: ****

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