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The stage is set for murderous film noir intrigue as director-turned- investigator Larry Carter (Gene Wilder) returns to action in this suspense-laced A&E Original Movie Presentation! The year is 1938. As war clouds gather over Europe, former Broadway director Larry "Cash" Carter retreats to the relative calm of running a community theater in an idyllic New England town. But his tranquility is shattered when a wealthy, anti-Nazi philanthropist is brutally murdered and a local police detective enlists Carter s keenly perceptive mind to help crack the case. Suspects abound -- from a mysterious maid, to suspicious companions, to impoverished relatives and an undercover Nazi agent. But as the clues and coincidences become increasingly tangled, Cash Carter s uncanny talent for analyzing human motivation deduces a drama more sinister than any of them could have imagined as he races to answer the deadly riddle of THE LADY IN QUESTION.
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Gene Wilder returns as Broadway-producer-turned-amateur-detective Larry "Cash" Carter, who originally brought his theatrical flair to the fine art of investigation in Murder in a Small Town. It's 1938 and philanthropist Emma Sachs (Claire Bloom) has dedicated her life and fortune to rescuing Jews from Hitler's Germany. On a flight back home from Europe she suspects a shady character and slips a note to stewardess Mimi (Cherry Jones) to deliver to Cash: "I am going to be murdered." Sure enough the next morning she's dead, ostensibly of natural causes, but in light of her suspicions and her sudden change of will--which effectively disinherits her family and loyal staff--the case proves more than meets the eye. Mike Starr costars as the sharp police investigator, a big-shouldered character whose street-thug voice masks a cagey intelligence. The picture is packed with character and marvelous period detail and Wilder, who cowrote the script, obviously relishes the play between stage and street theatrics. But these side details are all more of a meal than the undercooked mystery, which is more like a game of Clue than a challenging logic puzzle. It's a shame, because the rest of the film, from the playful opening scenes to the spy vs. spy subplot to the musical denouement, is perfectly charming and enormously entertaining. --Sean Axmaker
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