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Monday, April 2, 2012

Movie: The Notorious Lone Wolf


The Notorious Lone Wolf
Based on characters created
by Louis Joseph Vance
(1946)


There's a sight for suspicious eyes. It's The Lone Wolf. (Inspector Crane)

After watching five installments of The Lone Wolf series starring Warren William in the title role I thought it might be jarring to move onto The Notorious Lone Wolf, which is the first post-William installment. This one starred Gerald Mohr, who went on to do the next two in the series and who later voiced the role for a radio series.

In truth I'd have to say that Mohr is closer in appearance and mannerisms to William Powell's Nick Charles in the Thin Man series than he was to William. While the previous installments of the series were certainly lighthearted enough this one is one notch away from being a screwball comedy with a few crime/mystery elements tossed in for good measure. At times I felt like I was watching a Three Stooges short and there were at least two sight gags pretty much lifted part and parcel from the Stooges (who may have lifted them from someone else, to be perfectly fair).

The plot, such as it is, finds The Lone Wolf (Michael Lanyard) coming home after four years overseas. After a happy reunion with his valet Jamison (still played by Eric Blore) the two find themselves embroiled in hijinks related to a jewel theft, with a few murders breaking out along the way. Given that Lanyard's former profession happens to be jewel thief, he's always a prime suspect when this sort of thing is afoot and helps crack the case as much to clear his name as out of altruistic motives.

Recommended for those who don't mind a pretty hefty dose of comedy with their crime/mystery movies.

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