Crime, Drama, Noir

MovieDiva Film Series Presents


  • Wed, Aug 7
    • 7:00pm - Cinema One
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In the murky London fog, beautiful girls are being murdered after replying to the personals, and a chorine (Ball in her glamour puss days) is the bait to catch a killer. Is it the purring playboy or the cuckoo couturier or…? “Lured” was based on a 1939 French noir directed by Robert Siodmak, titled “Pieges” (a trap or setup). Sirk told an interviewer later in his life that he never saw Siodmak’s film before making his own version. Lucille Ball, in her 73rd movie, plays a “taxi-dancer” a sometimes euphemism for a paid dance partner or perhaps, an escort, the central character in a film originally titled “Personal Column.” It is squarely part of the gothic “gaslight” cycle of films, with atmospherically photographed foggy streets, glistening cobblestones and dim circles of street lamps, a story told in and by shadows. This is a perfect example of a program film, roundly dismissed as a flop at the time, and breezed over in star biographies, until a beautiful new restoration brings it out of those shadows. Directed by recent emigre, Douglas Sirk, the setting was moved from foggy Paris to a foggy backlot, standing in for a Jack the Ripperish foggy London. Although Ball’s facility as a comedienne was mostly untapped, she is no cookie-cutter starlet, and she uses her outsized personality skillfully in this film. Her sassy attitude cracks open the staid British-style murder mystery.