BEHIND GREEN LIGHTS. 20th Century Fox, 1946. Carole Landis, William Gargan, Richard Crane, Mary Anderson, John Ireland, Charles Russell, Roy Roberts, Don Beddoe, Bernard Nedell. Screenplay: W. Scott Darling & Charles G. Booth. Director: Otto Brower. Currently streaming on YouTube (see below) and Amazon Prime.

   There really is a PI in this movie, but his part is so small that the actor who plays him (Bernard Nedell) does not even get on-screen credit. Besides being a PI, he also dabbles in blackmail on the side, which makes him an ideal victim of a blackmailee as well, making his role in the film exceedingly small.. Quite remarkably his body is found in a car left in front of the local police station, which causes the lieutenant in charge (William Gargan) all kinds of problems.

   It seems as though a young girl (Carole Landis), who is the daughter of the reform candidate for mayor in an upcoming election, had an appointment with the dead man just before his body was found, and all kinds of political pressure is placed on the cops to book her, at least for being under suspicion, if not for the murder itself.

   The pacing is fast. I think the whole movie takes place all in one night, without much of a letup. It’s a black-and-white crime movie, so it’s probably called a noir film by viewers who don’t know better, but it isn’t. Well, I’ll take that back. The lighting and the camera work is often the same as in true film noir.

   What makes the movie really enjoyable, though, is the acting and story line, both glossier and more professional than for any of the so-called Poverty Row productions. That’s what having a movie produced by 20th Century fox will do for it. As for the two leads, I confess I do not see William Gargan as a leading man in any film that has a hint of romance in it (and yes, it’s there), but any movie graced by the presence of Carole Landis in it makes it very easy to recommend this one.

PostScript: I do not know from whence the title comes. Perhaps the lights in the globes beside the front door of the police station are green, but who would know in a black-and-white movie?