Having Wonderful Crime (1945)

Genres - Comedy, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Film  |   Release Date - Apr 12, 1945 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 70 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Having Wonderful Crime is an entertaining screwball mystery, the cast of which makes it well worth watching. Obviously inspired by the Thin Man series -- and just as obviously intended as a series itself, which intention apparently didn't pan out -- Crime has a perfectly legitimate set-up: a brilliant lawyer who is dragged into mysteries by his married amateur sleuth friends. Unfortunately, the screenplay doesn't make the premise pay off as successfully as it might. While it has any number of amusing lines, the level of wit as a whole isn't quite high enough; there's sparkle, but not enough of it. The plot is also a bit of a jumble, although this would be less of a problem if the characters were more richly drawn. Fortunately, Crime has the wonderful Pat O'Brien, the delectable Carole Landis and the not-quite-charming-enough-but-still-appealing George Murphy. The interplay between the three is delicious, and Landis in particular is in especially fine form. Always a beauty with incredible panache, Landis too often found her talents squandered. While Crime's writing is not always top drawer, the character fits her to a "T," and she gets to demonstrate her flair for comedy to the full. Crime falls short of classic status, but Landis and pals make it a charming and engaging little spree.