Dying for a Hot Toddy
When movie star Thelma Todd (Loni Anderson) is found dead in her car the Medical Examiner doesn't report anything significant enough to suspect foul play. But investigator Louis Marsden (Scott Paulin) is less convinced and persuades his boss, D.A. Buron Fitts (Dakin Matthews), to let him investigate further. Marsden finds himself speaking to her business partner, her former husband, a lover, her mother and also friends which paints a picture that during her final 24 hours Thelma had conflicts with significant and dangerous people. The question is; will Marsden's discovery ever be allowed to make the light of day.
"White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd" is one of those movies which initially relies on you knowing who Thelma Todd was as this is a movie based on the non fiction book about the actresses mysterious death. I say mysterious as it has always been stated accidental yet many saying that it didn't make sense and she certainly wasn't suicide. As such what you get in this made for TV movie is a suggestion of what might have been going on in her life when it came to various relationships. And on top of that we get a suggestion that there was a cover up when it came to the real cause of her death with accidents and things going missing. Trouble is that you do need to be a bit in the know to really find this interesting.
But whilst "White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd" didn't grip me in a thriller sense it was still an entertaining movie with a lot of that entertainment coming from the cast led by Loni Anderson who turns on plenty of 1930s movie star glamour. At the same time Robert Davi delivers just enough menace as her lover, Lucky Luciano, to make you know that he is someone not to be messed with.
What this all boils down to is that "White Hot: The Mysterious Murder of Thelma Todd" is a solid, nicely put together which gives you a version of what might happened to Thelma Todd. But this is a movie which for me is probably more entertaining for those already familiar with the mystery surrounding the death of Thelma Todd.