Manhandled

  • 1949
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime

Not quite a film noir, MANHANDLED is a little lighter than that, perhaps a film gris. Napier tells his psychiatrist, Vermilyea, that he has been suffering from a recurring nightmare. He dreams that he has murdered his wife, Hervey, after finding out that she was sneaking around with a lover. In no time at all, Hervey is found dead and her best gems are...read more

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Not quite a film noir, MANHANDLED is a little lighter than that, perhaps a film gris. Napier tells his psychiatrist, Vermilyea, that he has been suffering from a recurring nightmare. He dreams that he has murdered his wife, Hervey, after finding out that she was sneaking around with a

lover. In no time at all, Hervey is found dead and her best gems are missing. Napier is immediately suspected by detective Smith and by the insurance investigator on the case, Hayden. Napier, as you might imagine, is innocent (nobody accused of a crime in the first reel is ever guilty). Lamour,

who might have helped the film if there had been a scene in which she could have worn a sarong, is Vermilyea's secretary. Because she types up all his cases, she found out about the dream and the jewels, and told her nogood boy friend, Duryea, about it. Duryea, a lowlife private eye, then managed

to get a duplicate key to the Napier apartment. He intended to steal the gems but when he got there, Vermilyea had already murdered Hervey and was stealing the baubles. Duryea subdued Vermilyea and took the jewels away. Vermilyea tells Duryea that he recognizes him, and the two men cook up a plan

to frame Lamour for the murder so they can share the booty and get off untouched. Vermilyea seems to go along with Duryea's plan, but it is a ruse and he locks Duryea in a closet, then runs off with the gems. Duryea cannot be held in check very long, crashes out of the closet, and runs Vermilyea

down with his car. Now that Duryea has the gems, he wants to get rid of Lamour. He goes to her place and is about to kill her because he knows she may blow the whistle on him. His murder attempt is stymied when Smith and Bacon arrive and keep Duryea from tossing Lamour off the roof. A couple of

jokes liven things up and Duryea does a good job in the role of the underhanded private eye. He was the epitome of the cynical and sneering evil soul for whom some women fall. In later years, he became well-known in that type of role, but his earliest success came when he played the weak-willed

son in the Broadway production (and the later film) of Lillian Hellman's "The Little Foxes."

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Not quite a film noir, MANHANDLED is a little lighter than that, perhaps a film gris. Napier tells his psychiatrist, Vermilyea, that he has been suffering from a recurring nightmare. He dreams that he has murdered his wife, Hervey, after finding out that s… (more)

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