Lured (1947) starring Lucille Ball, George Sanders, Boris Karloff, Charles Coburn, Sir Cedric Hardwicke
Synopsis of Lured
A serial killer in London is murdering young women whom he meets through the personal columns of newspapers. He announces each of his murders to the police by sending them a cryptic poem. After a dancer disappears, the police enlist her American friend to answer advertisements in the personal columns and so lure the killer.
- George Sanders (Village of the Damned, The Picture of Dorian Gray) … Robert Fleming. Rich, debonair, handsome. And he becomes the police’s chief suspect. But is he guilty?
- Lucille Ball (The Facts of Life, I Love Lucy) … Sandra Carpenter. The American, who’s willing to become bait. She’s frightened, but willing to do it for the sake of her murdered friend.
- Charles Coburn (Vivacious Lady) … Inspector Harley Temple. The police inspector who’s trying to find the serial murderer. With the help of Sandra.
- Boris Karloff (The Ghoul, The Mummy 1932) … Charles van Druten. One of the suspects. A once-great dress designer, who’s gone mad …
- Cedric Hardwicke (On Borrowed Time, Invisible Agent) … Julian Wilde. Robert’s business partner. Who just might be more …
- Joseph Calleia (Five Came Back) … Dr. Nicholas Moryani
- Alan Mowbray (Merrily We Live) … Lyle Maxwell. The stuffy butler. He may have designs on Sandra.
- George Zucco (The Mad Monster, The Mummy’s Ghost) … Officer H. R. Barrett
- Robert Coote (Theater of Blood) … Detective
- Alan Napier (The Mole People, Batman the Movie) … Detective Gordon
- Tanis Chandler … Lucy Barnard. Sandra’s friend, and victim of the serial killer.
Editorial review of Lured, courtesy of Amazon.com:
Lucille Ball is in fine pre-TV form — still more the glamorous redhead than the slapstick comedienne–in Lured, Douglas Sirk’s elegantly handled low-budget whodunit. Ball plays an American nightclub dancer in London, recruited by the police as a decoy for a serial killer — a maniac who finds his victims through the newspaper personal ads. The guilty party isn’t difficult to guess, but the script by Leo Rosten is more literate than most such endeavors, and it’s fun to watch our out-of-place heroine brazen it out in the London fog. George Sanders is the most cultivated of her suitors, and there’s a weird sequence featuring Boris Karloff as a dress designer with crackpot designs on Lucy.
Maybe best of all, the film has a crowd of good character actors: Charles Coburn (as a Scotland Yard inspector who becomes protective of his amateur agent), Cedric Hardwicke, Alan Mowbray, Joseph Calleia, and especially George Zucco, a frequent movie villain in a sympathetic role as an avuncular cop. Sirk brings his Germanic precision to the details, and cameraman William Daniels (Greta Garbo’s favorite) no doubt had a hand in making Ball look good Lured was subsequently re-titled Personal Column, much to Sirk’s annoyance. –Robert Horton
(Updated July 30, 2021)