Lady in Cement, Fun but Confusing
Lady in Cement(1968), starring Frank Sinatra, has a nice, politically incorrect 1960’s Florida crime novel feel to it. It co-stars one of my favorite actresses, Raquel Welch, and Bonanza’s Dan Blocker, aka Hoss, but after watching it a few times I couldn’t tell you why a nude lady, whose feet were encased in cement, was tossed into the ocean. The movie starts out with private detective Tony Rome(Sinatra) diving for treasure off his yacht, which he won gambling. On the ocean floor he spots the lady in cement, apparently freshly drowned, as her body is completely intact. Rome sets off to investigate. I saw Lady in Cement over a year ago and I watched it again recently, after which I had it playing in the background from beginning to end three times as I did other work. My mind wanders with convoluted stories but I learned a little more with every “viewing”. However, I can’t say for sure who killed the lady in cement or what their motivations were, and I have no idea why she was given cement shoes. I started looking for plot summaries online but Wikipedia, under the headline “plot”, only gave the premise. It wasn’t until I read a old Roger Ebert review that I felt assured that I was not alone:
To be honest, I can’t remember 24 hours later exactly what the plot entailed. Something about Tony Rome getting hired to track down somebody and almost having the rap pinned on him. A double-cross. A murder while the heroine was drunk. A tough ex-mobster. The clues got so tangled that toward the end everything stopped for long speeches explaining the plot to us, none too successfully.
I’d recommend Lady in Cement because its kind of a fun movie. I also liked Tony Rome(1967) which Lady in Cement was a sequel to. There, too, with Tony Rome, it seemed unusually hard to follow and I’ve made sense of just about every movie I’ve seen from almost every country that has a movie industry, from every genre, and every release year from the 1920s to the present. Below are stills from the movie and here is the trailer.