Accused of Murder (1956)

David Brian, Vera Ralston, Sidney Blackmer, Virginia Grey,
Police detective falls for singer, gets involved with gangster killing.
  • 5.5 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Robert Creighton Williams, W.R. Burnett, Writer:
  • Joseph Kane, Director:
  • Producer:
5 / 10

Vera has no accent when she sings

A nightclub singer , Ilona Vance (Vera Hruba Ralston) is "Accused of Murder" in this 1956 Republic movie filmed in "Naturama." A shadt lawyer (Sidney Blackmer) is in love with Ilona. After she rejects him, he winds up murdered in his car.

Police Lt. Hargis (David Brian) doubts that Ilona is the killer - he's a little smitten with her. A hostess at the club (Virginia Grey) sees a man near the murder scene and tries to blackmail him (Warren Stevens). He gives her a good punch in the face and warns her not to tell anyone.

Though Ilona says she does not recognize the murder gun, a man sees the gun in the paper and identifies it as a gun an associate of his gave to Ilona. She insists that she is being framed.

This is a short film (76 minutes) and it goes nowhere. With the exception of Elisha Cook Jr., Virginia Grey, and Lee Van Cleef in supporting roles, the acting is flat.

Ralston's singing is dubbed, and the singer does not have a Czech accent.

Naturama was a wide-screen technique used by Republic Pictures. It evidently didn't catch on.

4 / 10

accused of mediocrity

Pretty mediocre murder mystery with Vera Ralston totally unappealing as nightclub singer. Her hand motions during her opening number are hilarious. David Brian makes a convincing cop if not a convincing lover. Sidney Blackmer's reactions to Ralston's singing are pretty funny too. Filmed in Naturama, whatever that is

4 / 10

Forgettable: That's What You Are...

Vera Hruba Ralston is a nightclub singer who has just had her opening night. Sidney Blackmer, a lawyer who's been stealing from the mob, asks her to marry him, but she doesn't love him. Mob boss Richard Karlan tells Warren Stevens to kill him, and he does so... with dance hall hostess Virginia Grey spotting him on the street just after the shot is fired. When homicide detectives David Brian and Lee van Cleef start investigating, the trail leads them immediately to Miss Ralston. Their problem is that the story she tells is not the story shown on the screen, nor does it match up their background checks.... and Miss Grey's attempts to blackmail a killer are not as smart as she would imagine....

It's wide screen and color and from a story by W.R. Burnett and shows promise, but director Joseph Kane doesn't know how to direct the scenes for the sexual heat that Burnett's story demands, so the abrupt changes are a bit cringeworthy. Still, there's a good scene with Elisha Cook Jr. as a sweaty alky and Frank Puglia is rather sweet as a sympathetic night club owner. There's not a spot of chemistry between the leads, however, and the result is a sub-par time waster.

10 / 10

1956 Continental

If for no other reason, I have three (3) absolutely insane reasons to enjoy watching this movie.

1-baby blue Continental automobile was a separate "make" from the Ford Motor Company for just the 1956 and 1957 model years.

2-Virginia Gray sweating profusely, and her bright blue eyes.

3-the almost matching (different color jackets) blackamoor lamps at the ends of the bar in the nightclub.

And a color picture from Republic in 1956 because the studio boss' wife was the singer.

5 / 10

Watchable....

...for sure, but forgettable. Pretty good who done it yarn, though Vera Ralston is pretty bad. Enjoy seeing several actors you've seen before but may not remember their names.