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Lured

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Lured

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Douglas Sirk made a name for himself as the premier director of melodramas in the '50s thanks to films like Magnificent Obsession and Imitation Of Life. But on his way to America after leaving Nazi Germany, Sirk made a handful of films in Europe, including Lured, a clever English thriller from 1947. Set in London, Lured stars Lucille Ball as a no-nonsense American who gets swept up in the investigation of a string of murders. Working undercover for Scotland Yard, Ball serves as the bait to catch a Baudelaire-fixated serial killer who contacts his victims via personal ads. But is the killer insane fashion designer Boris Karloff, eternal bon vivant George Sanders, or someone else? With a game cast and a clever script, Sirk keeps things moving along nicely, providing a colorful look at some seamy pockets of London life. Lured works as a compelling alternative to American noir: Horrible things may be happening, but Ball's plucky resolve and the granite upper lips of her new police friends—not to mention Sanders' unshakably dandyish appreciation of the finer things in life—keep everything in perspective, helping to render Lured as fun as it is suspenseful.