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4.3 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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(May 23, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Before he revolutionized the women's film with such gleefully melodramatic works as Written on the Wind and Magnigicent Obsession, director Douglas Sirk made a series of glossy thrillers flavored by European settings (shortly after his emigration to the U.S. from Germany). Like the films for which he would become famous, Lured revels in the glamour and romance that Hollywood had honed to perfection, and plays every scene -- every coy glance, every deadly encounter -- the melodramatic hilt. In Lured, a serial killer terrorized London, trapping his prey through personal ads in the newspaper and taunting the police with gruesome poems. A Scotland Yard detective (Charles Coburn) enlists the aid of a feisty American redhead (a truly captivating Lucille Ball) to draw the murderer into the dragnet, and leads her across the paths of a variety of peculiar suspects -- including a demented clothing designer (Boris Karloff) and an international playboy (George Saunders) -- all of whom seem to have designs on the Yard's most delectable decoy.

Lucille Ball is in fine pre-TV form--still more the glamorous redhead than the slapstick comedienne--in Lured, Douglas Sirk's elegantly handled low-budget whodunit. Ball plays an American nightclub dancer in London, recruited by the police as a decoy for a serial killer--a maniac who finds his victims through the newspaper personal ads. The guilty party isn't difficult to guess, but the script by Leo Rosten is more literate than most such endeavors, and it's fun to watch our out-of-place heroine brazen it out in the London fog. George Sanders is the most cultivated of her suitors, and there's a weird sequence featuring Boris Karloff as a dress designer with crackpot designs on Lucy. Maybe best of all, the film has a crowd of good character actors: Charles Coburn (as a Scotland Yard inspector who becomes protective of his amateur agent), Cedric Hardwicke, Alan Mowbray, Joseph Calleia, and especially George Zucco, a frequent movie villain in a sympathetic role as an avuncular cop. Sirk brings his Germanic precision to the details, and cameraman William Daniels (Greta Garbo's favorite) no doubt had a hand in making Ball look good. Lured was subsequently re-titled Personal Column, much to Sirk's annoyance. --Robert Horton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: George Sanders, Lucille Ball, Charles Coburn, Boris Karloff, Cedric Hardwicke
  • Directors: Douglas Sirk
  • Writers: Ernst Neubach, Jacques Companéez, Leo Rosten, Simon Gantillon
  • Producers: Henry S. Kesler, Hunt Stromberg, James Nasser
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 23, 2000
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305848769
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,711 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lured" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
In 1947 Lucille Ball didn't have a studio home from which to make movies. She had just left MGM due to the lackluster treatment she had been subjected to during her stay there. So during this period of her film career she was forced to freelance in order to keep working. The lack of studio influence on who and what she played allowed her the rare opportunity to play way out of character from her standard movie roles which had been dominated by chorus girls and wise-cracking, hard-nosed secretaries.
First she starred opposite Mark Stevens in the little know film noir classic "The Dark Corner" and after recieving excellent reviews was given the lead role in "Lured" a Douglas Sirk directed murder mystery. The top-notch cast including Boris Karloff, Cedric Hardwick, George Sanders and George Zucco are all excellent in supporting roles but make no mistake about it "Lured" is arguably the best film of Lucille Ball's movie career.
It's the story of a stranded American Taxi Dancer in London who helps Scotland Yard trap a serial killer who lures his victims through the personal columns. The movie features intricate plot twists, great atmospheric sets, beautiful gowns and enough red herrings to satisfy the most avid murder mystery buffs.
Finally, it is a real joy to see Lucille Ball in a quality film with a real dramatic character to play, acting like she should have been given these kinds of good roles all along. I highly recommend this gem.
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Format: DVD
Fans of Lucy will be surprised to see her in this "re-discovered" thriller as I was. I knew she had done one film noir in 1946-"The Dark Corner" where she played a private dick's secretary. She was good in it, playing it straight. But this one I had read about but it was so obscure (not even turning up on TV) that I figured I'd probably never see it. I had also read that she didn't like this film because it was so morbid. Kino has resurrected it on video then DVD and it's wonderful. Not really morbid (maybe to her it was) but it is a serial killer tale set in foggy London and she is a tough, been-around American showgirl stranded there when her show folds. While working as a taxi-dancer, her roommate disappears and is later found to have fallen prey to a madman who lures pretty girls to their deaths through the personals and then sends Scotland Yard twisted clues based on morbid poetry. Ball is excellent as the detectives use her as a decoy to trap the killer and the cast features Boris Karloff as a mad clothes designer(!) who tries to use her to model his designs for his "critics"---actually an empty room save for his dogs. Karloff is one of many strange characters she encounters answering the personals looking for the killer...great cast all around. Lucy is just wonderful.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Douglas Sirk, that magnificent master of melodrama, directed this delightful gem of a mystery almost 10 years before directing the films that would become his legacy: "Magnificent Obsession", "All that Heaven Allows", "Written on the Wind", and "Imitation of Life". But right from the beginning of "Lured" you know that you are in the hands of a major director. Each frame is composed with the eye of an artist; the suspense is carefully built and maintained; and the atmosphere is sophisticated yet full of foreboding. In fact, if you showed this movie to a beginning student of cinema, I don't think it would take much to persuade them that they were watching a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
The experienced cast is a delight to watch with George Sanders as a charming, debonair cad (as usual); Charles Coburn as the methodical but fatherly detective (a bit of miscasting there, but he pulls it off); and Lucille Ball as the shrewd, captivating heroine of our tale in one of her non-comedic roles. I enjoyed watching everyone, including Boris Karloff who plays the odd part of an insane haute couture designer to the hilt, although he is on the screen for only about 10 minutes. (Why, pray tell, is Karloff's photo on the cover of the DVD, when his role in the movie is such a minor one?) Only Sir Cedric Hardwick appears to be dispassionately walking through his part, although the story's denouement may explain why.
The print of the film is sharp and crisp for the most part, although a few short scenes appear to have been taken from an inferior source and contain some distracting artifacts. The sound varies from reel to reel, but is generally good and always acceptable. Overall, this is a fine print of an engaging film, and especially interesting because of Lucille Ball who successfully (I think) pulls off a dramatic role with balance and assurance.
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Format: DVD
Fans of Lucille Ball or director Douglas Sirk are in for a treat with this one. Interesting use of genre conventions in plot (even after you've guessed the killer, still fun), nice cinematography which comes up beautifully in Kino's DVD transfer. Excellent supporting cast, with such stalwarts as Cedric Hardwick and Charles Coburn providing pleasurable backup to star turns from George Sanders and Ball. Nice to see how many subtle small touches Lucy brings to her characterization, and she looks ravishing, even in black and white. LURED is a great Saturday night popcorn movie!
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