September 28th, 2014


Victims of Lodging

If you're staying alone in a new cottage one stormy night and a stranger shows up who says she's received threatening letters it's probably best not to take all her jewellery and her gun for safe keeping. You would think the author of a series of murder mysteries would know better but one makes just those mistakes in 1955's Miss Tulip Stays the Night. Nonetheless, this film is an amusing comedy mystery with a genuinely interesting puzzle.

Diana Dors upstages everyone as Kate, the wife of Andrew, the author played by Patrick Holt. She goes through the lines painting her as a wife who always looks to her smug, 1950s husband for answers but Dors comes off as so naturally self possessed it seems like she's just being a good sport opposite the comparatively pathetic Holt.

When they find Miss Tulip dead the next morning, the amiable Constable Feathers (Jack Hulbert) shows up before they can phone the police. The smiling constable is too caught up in discussing how an officer oughtn't accept invitations to tea when he's on duty to notice the corpse right in front of him.

But when the police do get their wits about them, they're only too happy to give Andrew a hard time and make him chief suspect. The police nurse a grudge for the series of bumbling police officers who appear in Andrew's books.

Dors doesn't have very much to do throughout the film except be the closest thing to a POV character. She comes off as a little smarter than her character's supposed to be but I didn't mind. Aside from a few broad jokes, the end of the film is actually pretty satisfying.

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