On their honeymoon,a young navy officer and his wife are having difficulties in finding a hotel room in Los Angeles until a lady lends them her suite. There, they receive a mysterious telephone call warning them of a murder that is about to be committed. After finding two dead women they hire two private detectives to help them. They learn that the third woman marked for death is the woman who lent them her hotel suite. She is the aerial artist at a circus and the other two women were her friends. The police arrive and arrest the navy officer and his wife, and two clowns who were attempting to kill the aerial performer.
"Homicide for Three" is a brainless mystery B-movie. It tries to be funny (but it isn't) and it tries to be an engaging mystery (but it isn't). It just comes off as an incredibly forced low-budget film--one which never once seems plausible or interesting. And, even if the acting was better (and occasionally it's pretty bad), the writing is so poor that the actors haven't got a chance.
The film begins with a very frisky young married couple searching all over town for a hotel room--but with no success. So far, this looks like the makings of a sexy comedy....but no such luck. A bit later, when they are trying to get a room, a woman overhears them and offers them her room. From here on, it's a lot like "Date Night" when a murder occurs and they pair are possibly implicated. Through it all they have a 'detective' who helps them...and pretty much everyone but them knows what will happen next.
The bottom line is that the film is stale, silly and full of BAZILLIONS of plot holes. Why didn't they go to the police? Why would two idiots think they could investigate a murder ring?! Huh?!?! Dumb....very dumb. And, during the film my daughter kept begging me to turn it off. I wish I'd listened to her. Homicide for Three (1948)
There is a seeming waste of talent here in a Republic (small studio) B-movie that isn't quite dramatic or funny enough to take off. So it sinks under the weight of its frivolous plot, which I think it more or less intended to do. What I mean is, it was a lighthearted movie that would have played with a heavier A-movie feature. By itself it's not enough.
But it's worth noticing the very real, honest presence of the main actress, a lively and natural Audrey Long (seen in "Born to Kill" in a similar but secondary role). You can almost watch the movie just for her ease and "American" cheerfulness. Her counterpart is stiff by comparison, and the supporting cast gets worse from there (including a supposed detective that is so wooden he's concrete, though he has a passing resemblance to Lon Chaney Jr.). There are attempts to spice it up, even including some perplexing overview shots of a circus (they couldn't afford to really set up a circus for a shoot).
Mostly we have a series of rooms of various kinds and some lightly entertaining twists as two hapless lovers get dragged further and further into a plot with some absurd coincidences. All in fun, but try "Born to Kill" first, or Long's other known film, "Desperate," both great 1947 noirs. a5c7b9f00b
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