Lying Lips

2453. LYING LIPS (1939-usA). With EDNA MAE HARRIS, JUANO HERNANDEZ. DIRECTED and written by OSCAR MICHEAUX. Micheaux is the most significant and prolific of pioneer black independent filmmakers, and he expertly directed and scripted this mostly all-black-cast mystery drama, When successful cabaret singer Elsie Bellwood finds her auntie shot through the head, the police assume she is the killer. As she lingers behind bars, corrupt forces go to work to obtain the deceased’s insurance premium. Fortunately, Elsie has a friend named Benny Hadnott who comes to her aid by employing his crackerjack detective skills. Elsie clearly has been framed and Benny sets out to determine the real killer and the circumstances surrounding the murder. In addition to being a top-notch murder mystery, the film features an interesting subplot which explores the immoral practice of nightclub owners who induce their female performers to attend after-hours parties. At these affairs the women are forced to do “ugly things” with gangsters. However, solving the murder of Elsie’s auntie and proving her innocence are the focus of this entertaining and fast-paced tale. 68 minutes Crime Mystery Suspense