Murder at the Vanities 10/01/22

KL Studio Classics

Saucy pre-Code entertainment routinely served up risqué dialogue and edgy content like promiscuity and drug use, but Mitchell Leisen’s murder mystery goes straight for a supposed family-industry no-no: Broadway-revue near-nudity featuring Earl Carroll’s ‘Most Beautiful Girls In The World’. Victor McLaglen is an inept detective and Jack Oakie a wise-cracking impresario. Gertrude Michael and Kitty Carlisle carry the musical numbers, the most famous being an ode to the still-legal Sweet Marijuana. Showgirls like Lucille Ball possess the daring to don the skimpy costumes, even if they hadn’t yet learned what Marijuana was. Duke Ellington and his orchestra sit in for Ebony Rhapsody, a mixed-race musical number with room for ‘guest dancers from Harlem.’ On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.