Movie Magazine International

Bury Me Dead (1947)

USA - 1947

Movie Review By Monica Sullivan

A movie as good as "The Amazing Mr. X" makes me wonder if director Bernard Vorhaus and cinematographer John Alton worked together on anything else. They did, but the results were very different. "Bury Me Dead" originated as a radio drama by Irene Winston and was adapted for the screen by Dwight V. Babcock and Karen DeWolf. Someone, somewhere thought that he just might be able to make another "Laura" on the cheap. June Lockhart is Barbara Carlin, who attends her own funeral & then surprises her husband's lawyer, Michael Dunn (Hugh Beaumont) by hopping into his car afterwards. One by one, she further surprises the people who thought she was dead: her husband Rod (Mark Daniels), her troubled sister Rusty (Cathy O'Donnell), a flirtatious boxer (Greg McClure), the ghoulish butler (Milton Parsons) and so on. It must be noted that the costumes and sets here are ghastly, even for a grade-Z entry like this. Furthermore, the script is crammed with gallows humor, up to six funereal jokes in a row in one sequence. And as a special treat, neither Daniels nor McClure can act his way out of a paper bag and both left acting early to pursue other interests (television direction for Daniels, a singles bar for McClure), much to the relief of grade-Z film buffs everywhere.

June Lockhart, however, is cute: Her assurance at age 22 reminds you why she was able to sustain a sixty year career, from "A Christmas Carol" through "Beverly Hills 90210. " Cathy O'Donnell, no longer under the direction of her brother-in- law William ("Best Years Of Our Lives") Wyler, is less successful here as a vixen. She's SO sweet and soulful-looking: Who'd ever believe HER as a bad girl? Also suffering from the loss of an "A" list director (in her case, "The Big Sleep's" Howard Hawks) is Sonia Darrin as temptress Helen Lawrence, wearing the worst clothes in the film. She evolves from bathing beauty to Amazon to a vamp so scrawny that her hip bones nearly pop out of her dress. Charles Lane plays a verbose police investigator who barely gives a suspect a chance to say one syllable! The guy next to me solved the mystery 40m. after the opening credits. You might get the impression from all of the above that "Bury Me Dead" is better buried. It is, in fact, a real hoot, and I wish it WERE on video or even late night television SOMEWHERE.

© 2001 - Monica Sullivan - Air Date: 5/2/01

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