Slightly Honorable

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There are those slightly crumby mid-1940s movies where a wisecracking couple - say a lady reporter and a photographer (often with the aid of an African-American taxi driver) - wind up at a house where the light seem to go out an awful lot.

Murder has been done and they are - after stumbling about in confusion for almost an hour - going to find out who did it.

Transfer the same cinematic sensibility and budget to a tale of murder and political corruption and you have Slightly Honorable.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Pat O’Brien in such a rotten role. And the mustache he was sporting in the film was so inappropriate I couldn’t help but wonder if it was a punishment enforced by the studio. Nor has Broderick Crawford seemed less intimidating. Edward Arnold was the despicable swine he so often was but there wasn’t nearly enough of him. And Eve Arden who is, well, always Eve Arden dies early on. A good but wasted cast.

Naturally after haphazard and slapdash goings on justice triumphs. True love as well, though I’ve never watched a less plausible happy ending.

None of this is to say that you should avoid Slightly Honorable. I’m just letting you know to keep your expectations low.

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