The very talented Angela Lansbury has passed away just days shy of her 97th birthday. She will forever be remembered for her role as Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote. She was also in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Blue Hawaii, Gaslight, Death on the Nile, Beauty and the Beast, and so many other roles.
I stumbled on one of her earlier performances on accident. I was doing a search for Film Noir films and found one that starred Raymond Burr (Perry Mason). Angela Lansbury starred opposite of him in a film that has become a favorite – Please Murder Me from 1956.
IMDB describes it this way:
A lawyer (Raymond Burr) suffers a guilt complex after getting a murder acquittal for his client (Agela Lansbury), and then finding out she did commit the crime.
Rotten Tomatoes gives a little bit more of the plot for you:
A lovesick attorney (Raymond Burr) tries to trap a murder client (Angela Lansbury) he got acquitted by arranging for her to kill him.
The movie starts with lawyer Craig Carlson buying a pistol at a pawn shop and putting it in his office desk drawer with a file folder. He dictates a message into a tape recorder for the local district attorney revealing that he expects to be murdered within an hour, and he begins to tell his story in extended flashbacks.
I believe that the film is now in the public domain and can be viewed completely on YouTube. It is worth the watch. Great film noir and great acting from Burr and Lansbury. The film reminds me of something you would hear on an old radio show like Suspense or The Whistler. Great ending!
Check it out in honor of Dame Angela Lansbury.