Saturday, February 9, 2013

Movie - The Corpse Came COD

The Corpse Came COD
Based on a story by Jimmy Starr
1947

I'm no scholar when it comes to this sort of thing but I'd say that by 1947, when The Corpse Came COD was released, the best days of the comic screwball mystery movie were already in the rear view mirror. It was the same year that saw the release of Song of the Thin Man - the last (and some would say the least) of the Thin Man movies.

But Corpse showed that there was still a little life left in this old sub-genre. The story for this one was based on a 1944 book by one Jimmy Starr, who was a Hollywood reporter and whose protagonist Joe Medford just happened to be in the same line of work. Other Medford books include Three Short Biers (1945) and Heads You Lose (1950). More on this offbeat trilogy here.

Let's start with that title, while we're at it. No symbolism there, but a rather literal interpretation of the events that open the movie, when a Hollywood starlet is asked to cough up 400-some odd dollars to take delivery of a rather large crate that contains some fabric samples and, well...you know. Turns out that said starlet knew the stiff, who was a costume designer who worked with her at the movie studio.

Not knowing who to turn to starlet Mona Harrison decides on Medford, a sort of friend and would-be paramour. He honors her trust by turning the incident into a scoop and before long another reporter - Rosemary Durant - begins to sniff around. And of course it's right about here where that whole screwball battle of the sexes thing begins to kick in, though perhaps not to such good effect as in other films of this breed.

The plot thickens quite a bit from here, with more than a few twists and turns until winding its way to what, at least for me, was a decidedly offbeat and unexpected finish. Maybe a more attentive viewer would have seen this one coming but not me.

I found this one entertaining enough and quite a bit more so than this contemporary reviewer from the New York Times.

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