Lionel Atwill – Genius at Work (1946)

Lionel Atwill Month – Genius at Work (1946)
Cast:  Wally Brown as Jerry Miles
Alan Carney as Mike Strager
Anne Jeffreys as Ellen Brent
Lionel Atwill as The Cobra
Bela Lugosi as Stone

Written by Monte Brice & Robert E. Kent
Directed by Leslie Goodwins (The Mummy’s Curse)

Plot: Jerry and Mike are radio show actors who find themselves wrapped up in a real life crime drama against notorious villain The Cobra.

Genius-2.jpg

Personal Thoughts: After the success of Zombies on Broadway (1945), the cast was reunited for this lesser effort. It’s nice to see Lugosi doing another movie for RKO but he doesn’t have as much to do here. He’s essentially playing Atwill’s henchman. Atwill turns in an average performance as The Cobra. Wall Brown and Alan Carney aren’t as funny here as they were in their previous film nor is Anne Jeffreys as charming. A fairly routine comedy whodunit that isn’t very inspiring. It will be very hard to find a copy of this one but don’t spend too much time trying.

Trivia:

  • Often compared to the Abbott and Costello film Who Done It? (1942).
  • Last of the eight films starring Wally Brown and Alan Carney, RKOs answer to Abbott and Costello.
  • Lionel Atwill’s next to last completed film before dying from cancer in 1946. This film was released six months after his death.
  • Never commercially released on home video.

Availability: Not available on YouTube or DVD (except for bootleg copies) but can be found online at the time of this publication.

A version of this review was originally posted on Oct. 29, 2015.

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