Zachary Scott makes a good sleaze as a fortune hunting womanizer. The penultimate ending is disappointing and the last two minutes are really bad and look like they were designed as a “feel good” moment. It just doesn’t fit.
Ronnie Mason (Zachary Scott) steals money and a wedding ring from a dead woman and leaves behind a fake suicide note. They were living as man and wife in a rooming house. Ronnie escaped through a window. The landlady saw the woman’s picture in the newspaper. The article said her husband reported her missing. The suicide note was taken as legitimate but her husband doesn’t buy it.
Ronnie rents a room from Mrs.Fenchurch. Her daughter Hilda (Fay Emerson) is a public stenographer. Two of her clients are psychiatrist Dr.Jane Silla (Rosemary DeCamp with a fake accent) and the shy Dr. Andrew Lang (Bruce Bennett) who would like to date Hilda.
Ronnie charms Hilda and her mother. He takes Hilda away for a weekend. He gives her the stolen ring. He says it was his grandmother’s wedding ring. He’s a writer of short stories and is good at making up lies about his life.
Hilda’s younger sister Anne (Mona Freeman) has been in a sanitarium. Now she’s back. She mentions to Ronnie that she’ll inherit twenty-five thousand dollars when she gets married. That changes Ronnie’s plans. Anne’s boyfriend Bunky Taylor (Richard Erdman) is jealous of the attention she pays Ronnie.
Hilda gets suspicious that something’s going on between Anne and Ronnie. She’s right. She also catches him in some of his lies. She consults Dr.Silla and says she wants to kill Ronnie. The doctor arranges to come to the house for lunch so she can meet him. She’s not impressed. Hilda’s resentment continues to build. She visits Dr.Lang in his lab and gets an idea.
The movie moves slowly and if there’s any reason to see it it’s Scott’s performance.
Faye Emerson is well known to fans of TV game shows. She was a panelist on “I’ve Got A Secret”, “To Tell The Truth” and “What’s My Line?”
Also well known to TV fans is Rosemary DeCamp. She was Peg Riley in the Jackie Gleason version of “The Life Of Riley” (1949-50) and Bob Cummings sister Margaret on “Love That Bob” (1955-59).
Richard Erdman appeared in many movies and TV shows. The last was as Leonard in “Community” (2009-2012).