Format: Noir Alley on TCM
Director: Edward L. Cahn
Shown on Noir Alley, Eddie Muller set the stage perfectly - Destination Murder (1950) is not going to fool anyone into thinking they're watching an A picture, but it is a wild ride of a film with a lot of character and more twists than a bag of pretzels.
Laura Mansfield (Joyce MacKenzie) has come home from college on the east coast when her father opens the door for a seeming delivery man and takes a fatal bullet. The cops seem to be stumbling, so Laura takes it upon herself to do some snooping. Unfortunately, all of the delivery drivers in their line-up had alibis, but Laura fakes trust in her most likely suspect, and that opens a door into the underworld of the city, all based around The Vogue nightclub.
Cast includes most recognizably Stanley Clements as the delivery man and assassin, Albert Dekker as the boss of the nightclub, Hurd Hatfield as the brains and manager of the nightclub, and Myrna Dell as a competing femme fatale.
For the first thirty minutes, it feels like a standard B-picture, and then the twists start coming hard and fast. Some are jaw-droppers, some are "say what?" moments, but all of it does fit into the logic of the movie. And, anchored by the solid delivery by Joyce MacKenzie, it's all a bit crazy but just works. That said - no one will be in a rush to nominate anyone here for an Oscar.
Highly recommended in a "well, that was crazy!" kind of way.