Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Unholy Four (1954)


“There were a few holes in his story, and he fell right through them.”
            I hate films that have messy plots. When they have messy plots they tend to be boring. I found The Unholy Four to be a bit messy which lead to me being bored and a bit confused. Nothing is worse than a boring film.
            The film begins with a man named Philip Vickers returning home. He shocks his secretary, Joan, when he walks in. She asks him where he has been for so long. He asks her where Angie (Paulette Goddard), his wife, is. Joan replies that Angie is at their cottage house hosting a party.
            Philip notices a car belonging to one of his friends in garage. He takes that car and drives it over to the cottage. He walks in and scares his two friends Bill and Job. They cannot believe after four years, certain their friend was dead, is alive and standing in front of them. He walks to the backyard still searching for Angie. He sees her boat has taken off just as he walking towards it. Philip does not see Angie until the following morning. She faints when she sees him. He carries her to her room. Philip tells his wife four years ago when he, Bill, Job and their other friend Harry were in Portugal. He had had only one drink but as he was walking off the boat it had felt like he had gotten drunk. The last thing he remembers about that day before he was struck in the head was someone telling him to turn around. Angie asks why he did not write to them instead of just showing up. He tells her he suspects one of his friends and even her of conspiring to kill him four years ago. Angie becomes very upset she tells him she tried to look for him.
            Job interrupts their conversation with the news that Harry has been found dead.
            Now everyone in the house is a suspect. As the police try to find Harry’s real killer out of the many who could have done so, Philip tries to get to the bottom of who hit him and wanted him dead four years ago. After the discovery of Harry’s body the story becomes a bit confusing and some of the characters become a pain.

            The Unholy Four, to me, went in all different directions. Everyone was accusing the other of killing Harry. It seems as though the writers were trying to confuse the audience and keep them guessing but they just totally blew it. The only reason I watched The Unholy Four was for Paulette Goddard. She was good but this film came at the end of her long career. She was not the feisty broad from her earlier films. It was awkward to not see her feisty and firing on all cylinders. Unless you are big Paulette Goddard film skip The Unholy Four.