The Lucky Stiff

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The Lucky Stiff
The Lucky Stiff film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Lewis R. Foster
Produced by Jack Benny
William T. Lackey
Screenplay by Lewis R. Foster
Based on the novel The Lucky Stiff
by Craig Rice
Starring Dorothy Lamour
Brian Donlevy
Claire Trevor
Music by Heinz Roemheld
Cinematography Ernest Laszlo
Edited by Howard A. Smith
Amusement Enterprises
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • January 22, 1949 (1949-01-22) (New York City, New York)
  • May 26, 1949 (1949-05-26) (United States)
Running time
99 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Lucky Stiff is a 1949 American comedy crime film directed by Lewis R. Foster, starring Dorothy Lamour, Brian Donlevy, and Claire Trevor.[1] The film is based on the 1945 novel of the same name by Craig Rice.

The Lucky Stiff was produced by famous comedian Jack Benny, the only feature film he ever produced, through his production company, Amusement Enterprises.


Lawyer John Malone (Donlevy) is an ardent admirer of the sultry night-club singer Anna Marie St. Clair (Lamour). After meeting her at the club, he is present when her boss is killed, and she is arrested for the crime. Anna Marie is sentenced to death, so Malone and his secretary Maggie Seaton (Trevor) set out to find the real murderer, who is probably also responsible for a protection racket Malone is investigating.

At the last possible moment, Anna Marie is saved from execution. When she learns that the newspapers have reported that she is dead, she decides to use her status as a "corpse" to her advantage. Millie Dale, her replacement at the nightclub, is also killed. Malone concludes that nightclub owner Eddie Britt has been behind the scheme all along but that Anna Marie, in love with Britt, was also complicit. Police inspector Von Flanagan ends up placing Anna Marie back under arrest, while Malone places a kiss on Maggie.



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