Monday, June 3, 2019
Sky Murder (1940)
This time Nick Carter is on the trail of spies. And there are spies everywhere! They are murdering people and planting bombs all over the place. It’s absolute carnage.
The action starts with a murder on board an aircraft. There’s a very strong suspect but then somebody tries to kill all the passengers and Nick draws the obvious conclusion that there’s a large-scale conspiracy at work here. And the conspirators don’t care how many bodies they leave behind.
The biggest fault however is the amount of screen time given to the two very feeble comic relief players. They get whole sub-plots devoted to them, sub-plots that do nothing but slow down an already slow movie.
Walter Pidgeon is good as the suave and unflappable hero. The best of the supporting players is Tom Conway but he’s criminally under-utilised. Kaaren Verne is a very dull leading lady. It’s easy to see why the career of this German-born actress fizzled out rather quickly. Donald Meek and Joyce Compton are simply irritating.
There are too many miscellaneous villains when what a good B-movie needs is one memorable arch-villain.
The history books will tell you that the United States entered the Second World War in December 1941 but Hollywood had already declared war at least two years earlier. Sky Murder is a full-on war propaganda movie, a genre I have little liking for as a rule.
Sky Murder is a spy thriller that never really gets off the ground. It’s unfocused and the plot meanders. Walter Pidgeon is left to try to carry the entire movie on his own. I love spy movies but I find myself horribly bored by movies about the Second World War so that may party explain my rather negative reaction.
I wouldn’t recommend this movie but I do highly recommend the Nick Carter three-movie set because the two earlier movies, Nick Carter, Master Detective and Phantom Raiders really are excellent.