Genius at Work (1946)

Article #1117 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-5-2004
Posting Date: 9-2-2001
Directed by Leslie Goodwins
Featuring Wally Brown, Alan Carney, Anne Jeffreys

Two radio detectives find themselves targets of a murdering fiend when their on-the-air recreations of the murders prove to be too accurate.

The last time I saw Lionel Atwill and Bela Lugosi team up for a comedy was for THE GORILLA (1939). I find the sense of deja vu pretty strong here; like that one, I felt that the horror and suspense elements were a lot more successful than the comedy. I don’t find Brown and Carney to be as desperately unfunny as the Ritz Brothers were in that earlier movie, but that’s only because they were less strident; whereas the Ritzes came across as potentially funny comedians who simply didn’t have any material to work with, Brown and Carney come across as merely lukewarm imitations of Abbott and Costello. Incidentally, Brown and Carney are playing characters of the same names as the ones they played in ZOMBIES ON BROADWAY (also with Bela Lugosi), though I can’t really say whether they were supposed to be the same characters. Fans of Atwill, Lugosi, or that earlier movie might like this one; me, I’d opt for the movie in which Lugosi teams up with the real Abbott and Costello than this one.


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