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Strange Bargain

Strange Bargain(1949)

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teaser Strange Bargain (1949)

If this low-key mystery looks familiar, odds are you're a devoted fan of Murder She Wrote. Almost 40 years after the film's premiere, Jessica Fletcher re-opened the case, using scenes from the original film as flashbacks and casting stars Martha Scott, Jeffrey Lynn and Harry Morgan as older versions of their original characters. Lynn, a rising young lead at Warner Bros. until wartime service killed his career momentum, stars as a suburban husband and father whose request for a raise leads to a surprising counter-offer. The boss wants to commit suicide and wants Lynn to help him make it look like a suicide so his family can collect the insurance money. Although he tries to resist, Lynn gets roped into helping out, only to find himself under suspicion from both his wife (Martha Scott) and police detective Harry Morgan. RKO had originally planned the film for either Pat O'Brien or Robert Young. Lynn's expert acting, matched by his co-stars, help elevate this second feature to first-rate status. Morgan would return to detective work almost two decades later when he took over as best friend Jack Webb's assistant on Dragnet 1967.

By Frank Miller

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