“I was on guard against everyone except myself.”
In the Douglas Sirk film Lured a series of young girls disappear after responding to personal ads. The killer taunts Scotland Yard by sending poems describing the girl and announcing the upcoming murder. The police are left with a handful of clues–the personal ads, the flaws of the typewriter used for the poems, and the fact that the killer has a penchant for Baudelaire.
Sandra Carpenter (Lucille Ball) plays an unflappable dance-hall girl whose friend is the latest victim of the killer. Inspector Temple (Charles Coburn) recruits Sandra to operate undercover through the personal ads. Sandra meets a lot of peculiar men through the ads, and soon she’s juggling dates with bizarre dress designer Charles van Druten (Boris Karloff) and smooth playboy Robert Fleming (George Sanders).
This is an interesting role for Lucille Ball. Here she’s worldly-wise and savvy to every pick-up line in the book. Inspector Temple sagaciously assesses Sandra’s character and realizing she can handle men effectively, he adds her talent to his investigation. Lucille Ball fans will be pleasantly surprised by her role in Lured, and Douglas Sirk fans should enjoy the film too. The characters are well defined, and the plot kept my attention throughout. It’s in glorious black and white, and that complements the story and the setting.