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Of the ten movies Flynn made between 1938 and 1941, this is one of only three where he wore modern day suit and tie. Maybe that's why this mystery/romance requires Flynn's character to cycle through several assumed identities, as if that devil-may-care Tasmanian always needs a layer of costuming on screen. Mild mannered financial advisor Francis Warren (Flynn) has a secret life as crime novelist F.X. Pettibone, but his literary adventures never cross over into his mundane workaday world - until a shady client (Noel Madison) asks to launder precious gems into cash, no questions asked. When Warren balks, it sets off a chain reaction of events where Warren gets embroiled in murder, blackmail, and a sexy burlesquette (Lee Patrick), much to the chagrin of his wife Rita (Brenda Marshall). It's fun to see Flynn do a rare impersonation of a southern millionaire, complete with broad accent, but the movie billed as a dark noir is closer in spirit to an unusual romance. Flynn followed this picture with the modern day Navy drama Dive Bomber (1941) but was soon in historical duds once again in the Custer biopic They Died With Their Boots On (1941).
By Violet LeVoit