Lucille Ball Plays Detective in Lured

Lucille Ball Plays Detective in Lured
The comedic talents of Lucille Ball are still enjoyed by audiences every day due to the continued popularity of the I Love Lucy television series. The show’s popularity makes it easy to forget that Lucille Ball also took on several dramatic roles during her long career.

One such example is Lured, where Lucy plays Sandra Carpenter, a weary actress working as a taxi-dancer at a common dance hall in London.

Lured was released as a thriller and it contains all of the elements necessary to create intrigue, but it is Ball’s particular style that keeps the audience interested in the story.

Similar to the character she plays in Stage Door, she easily serves up the wisecracks. Yet, she is also believable as a bright, critical thinker capable of solving a complex mystery.

The film plays out as sort of an homage to the mysteries solved by Sherlock Holmes, whose likeness makes a very brief appearance on a foggy London street corner at the beginning of the film.

On that same street corner, Sandra’s pretty friend “Blue Eyes” is meeting a man she found in the personal column. When “Blue Eyes” disappears, she is presumed to be the eighth victim of an elusive serial killer who uses the newspaper to lure his victims to their deaths.

Desperate to find the killer before he strikes again, the Inspector from Scotland Yard (Charles Coburn) determines that Sandra is the exact type the killer targets: pretty, young, and unattached. He convinces her to work undercover as a detective/bait to trap the madman. Much to his surprise, she is a natural crime solver.

As with any good thriller, the audience is gently led to believe that anyone Sandra encounters could be the man she is seeking.

Since the killer meets his victims through the personal ads, Sandra is tasked with answering every ad in hopes of uncovering the murderer. This also provides the opportunity to introduce a multitude of suspects into the story.

This also allows Lucy, as Sandra, to assume different “roles” as each man she encounters is expecting something different from his ad.

George Sanders plays Robert Fleming, the owner of a posh nightclub, who is openly smitten with Sandra. Both mysterious and charming, he shows up whenever Sandra is supposed to meet with one of the suspects.

His chauffeur is an ex-con and goes everywhere with Fleming.

Then there is Alan Mowbray who plays the head butler. He has underworld ties and dabbles in white slavery.

“Music Lover” arranges a meeting at the symphony, but doesn’t show up. Or does he?

Finally, there is Boris Karloff who plays fashion designer Charles Van Druten, who is not only mad as a hatter, he is also prone to violent outbursts. He has advertised for a model for a fashion show which largely plays out in his own mind. He’s perfectly bonkers, but is he a killer?

Methodically, Sandra narrows down the field of possible suspects until she traps the murderer and solves the crime.

As thrillers go, Lured is entertaining, albeit somewhat formulaic. It is difficult to imagine if it would be as compelling without the multiple talents of Lucille Ball. Although she is typically associated with comedy, she can carry a serious film like this one effortlessly.

Of course, she can also deliver a good zinger like no other.

Maybe that’s why we still love Lucy.

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This content was written by Lucinda Moriarty. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Lucinda Moriarty for details.