Movie Review: Roses Are Red (1947)

Synopsis: A newly-elected district attorney, Robert Thorne, is kidnapped by a crime boss and replaced with a criminal-friendly impostor. When Thorne escapes, he decides to pretend to be his look-a-like in an effort to find evidence against the crime boss and the local police lieutenant that takes orders from him.

Who's in it? The movie stars Don Castle, Peggy Knudsen, Joe Sawyer, Patricia Knight and Edward Keane.

Review: I had some extra time this morning before heading into the office and decided to kill it by watching a classic film. This one looked halfway interesting so I decided to give it a try and, as it turns out, it was a decent choice.

When I picked this film, I was hoping it would have more of a mystery than it turned out to have. That being said, there was a lot to like about this film.

One of the big ones for me was the way the movie avoided being as predictable as I thought it would be. Thorne (Castle) pretending to be his impersonator worked out pretty much as I expected it would, with the main bad guys being unaware of the switch and his double (also Castle) dead. But, there were quite a few other obstacles he had to overcome, including his double's wife (Knight), who had no trouble figuring out his deception. Once she knew he wasn't who he claimed to be, it did make me curious what she would end up doing with that information.

I think my favorite character in this movie had to be Thorne's girlfriend, Martha (Knudson). I loved how she continued to push for answers after Thorne's disappearance, even if it meant boarding a plane and flying across the country. That, along with her helping him afterwards, was definitely a nice contrast from the damsel-in-distress-type girlfriends I'm used to seeing in movies from this time period.

My only real complaint about this movie is I wish we would have learned more about the crooked police lieutenant (Sawyer). Was he always crooked or was there a reason why he ended up working for a crime boss (Keane)? Even if his criminal efforts were solely about money, I have to think there was a time when he was still an honest cop and it would have given his character a little more depth if we knew what triggered the change.

Final Opinion: The overall plot is a little simple but there are just enough plot twists and interesting characters to make it entertaining. It's worth taking the time to watch at least once if you get a chance.

My Grade: B


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