Fred Zinneman, USA, 1942, 80 min.
Thank God for Turner Classic Movies. This film is a fun, clever jaunt through a light-noir story of a blind private eye and his helpful dog Friday. Edward Arnold plays the main character with an avuncular wit that shows why he was one of the great character actors of the early twentieth century.
The script is simple and clean. It has plenty of moments that showcase the special talents of a blind detective. His other senses are heightened, and this lets him find things that others haven’t. It’s a unique character. But the real star of the film is the dog, Friday.
This dog is great! He steals the show as the incredibly smart right-hand mutt. His interplay with the butler of the house is priceless. He even has a love interest that he must putaside to come to the rescue of his master.
This film has everything from a Nazi conspiracy to blind-judo. It’s a great diversion that is more interesting than almost all films in the theater today. And yes, at the end, Friday finally gets his girl.