Big Brown Eyes

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The first movie in a Cary Grant DVD double feature. It's pretty easy to fit two movies on a DVD when one of them is only 77 minutes. But the director, Raoul Walsh, knew how to fit a lot of plot into 77 minutes.

Here, Grant is Danny Barr, NYC police detective, looking for a gang of jewel thieves. His insanely jealous girlfriend Eve (played by Joan Bennett) is a manicurist at a high-end barber shop. Through a fortuitous coincidence, it's a hangout for both Danny and the thieves; this makes solving the case much easier.

The movie is a disquieting mix of crime and screwball comedy. Ms. Bennett's character is very similar to Rosalind Russell's in His Girl Friday: she's cynical, sassy, and always has a snappy comeback. (Danny: "Oh, how I wish you were a man!" Eve: "Same to you.") There's a considerable amount of physical comedy as well.

All that screwiness would have worked better if the thieves were more genteel. Instead, somewhat shockingly, they commit a truly heinous murder. The jokes seem forced after that.

Still, it's Cary Grant. They don't make 'em like that any more.

Last Modified 2012-09-29 6:16 AM EDT