Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Raymond Burr is a lawyer duped in 'Please Murder Me'

Please Murder Me (1954)
Starring: Raymond Burr, Angela Lansbury, Lamont Johnson and John Dehner
Director: Peter Godfrey

When idealistic attorney Craig Carlson (Burr) realizes that he was manipulated into assuring the acquittal of a murderess (Lansbury), he sets about guarenteeing that she is brought to justice, even if if costs him his own life.

"Please Murder Me" has a plot that's reminicent of a "Columbo" episode, with the main character basically harrassing the perpetrator of a near-perfect crime into revealing their guilt to the law. Craig Carlson, however, goes much further than Columbo ever did!

Part courtroom drama, part film-noir thriller, fans of crime movies will enjoy the fact that this movie keeps to a very unexpected course. (You may think you know where things or going, or that a twist is about to put upon a twist, but you will in all likelihood be guessing wrong.) It's a well-acted movie with a creative script that's all the more fun to watch due to Raymond Burr playing the role of a grandstanding lawyer. While the Carlson character is far more faithful and loyal to the letter and spirit of the law than Burr's more famous Perry Mason character ever was, "Please Murder Me" still feels like what could have been an episode titled "Perry Mason and the Final Curtain."