Famous Detectives

FAMOUS DETECTIVE COLLECTIONS

FATW’s “B” detective features include three collections of some of the most famous detectives of the 1940s:

MIKE SHAYNE
THE FALCON  
PHILO VANCE



I.  MIKE SHAYNE
                                                        
BLONDE FOR A DAY  (1946)

C. 6 July 1946  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP454
B&W  68 Mins.  Good Copyright
    
Director:                 Sam Newfield
Writer:                    Fred Myton
Producer:                Sigmund Neufeld
Cinematog.:           John H. Greenhalgh, Jr.
Music Dir.:             Leo Erdody
Editor:                     Holbrook Todd
Story:                      “Mike Shayne, Detective” by Brett Halliday
Cast:                         Hugh Beaumont, Kathryn Adams, Cy Kendall, Marjorie Moshelle, Paul Bryar,
                                   Richard Fraser, Frank Ferguson, Mauritz Hugo, Claire Rochelle, Sonia Sorel,
                                   Cheryl Walker, Charles Wilson

Fair Mike Shayne whodunit starring Hugh Beaumont as the  detective and his real-life wife Kathryn Adams as his secretary.  "Yarn deals with Beaumont rescuing a police reporter when a bunch of gamblers get tough with the guy.  Scribe had been exposing the gang as being linked to a series of slayings when they try to bump him off. The Sherlock unravels the mystery, which seems to have more blondes than detectives showing up in some sequences."  (Variety, July 31, 1946) “Detective Michael Shayne is again on the case to save a woman crime correspondent from the gangsters who want to prevent her from publishing damning exposes.”  Corel All Movie Guide 2


LARCENY IN HER HEART  (1946)

C. 18 June 1946  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP386
B&W  68 Mins.  Good Copyright

Director:                     Sam Newfield
Writer:                        Ray Schrock
Producer:                   Sigmund Neufeld
Cinematog.:               John H. Greenhalgh, Jr.
Art Director:              Edward C. Jewell
Music Dir.:                 Leo Erdody
Editor:                        Holbrook Todd
Story:                          by Brett Halliday
Cast:                            Hugh Beaumont, Cheryl Walker, Ralph Dunn, Charles Wilson, Paul Bryar,
                                      Douglas Fowley, Lee Bennett, Henry Hall, Marie Harmon, Milt Kibbee,
                                      Charles Quigley, Gordon Richards

"There's much ado about a disappearing corpse in 'Larceny in Her Heart.'  The fact that the body finally turns out to be falsely identified by no means ends the general confusion, even though it  does bring down the curtain.  As a Michael Shayne murder mystery, New York's current film labors for comedy as well as thrills.  That it is wholly successful with neither is due largely to script rather than players.  The mistake-in-identity  angle is a scheme concocted to cover the murderous designs of a man who hires detective Shayne to locate his missing stepdaughter.  Shayne finally gets suspicious in the right direction, after trailing an elusive corpse, and manages to prevent two additional killings." (N.Y.Daily News, July 22,1946)


MURDER IS MY BUSINESS  (1946)

C. 18 June 1946  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP385
Color  63 Mins.  Good Copyright

Director:                         Sam Newfield
Writer:                            Fred Myton
Producer:                        Sigmund Neufeld
Cinematog.:                    John H. Greenhalgh, Jr.
Art Director:                  Edward C. Jewell
Music Dir.:                     Leo Erdody
Editor:                             Holbrook Todd
Set Decor.:                      Harry Reif
Story:                              “Murder is My Business,” by Brett Halliday
Cast:                                 Hugh Beaumont, Cheryl Walker, Lyle Talbot, Carol Andrews, George
                                           Meeker, Pierre Watkin, Carol Andrews, Virginia Christine, Ralph Dunn,
                                           Helene Heigh, Richard Keene, Donald Kerr

"As always in such cases, there is a murder. The local  authority suspects that Shayne is too close to the affair not to be involved, but there is no evidence sufficient to warrant an arrest.  The fact that the murderer may be an ex-con friend of Shayne might be considered a damning implication, but since the alleged murderer was immediately killed by the victim's husband  the plot continues to chug forward.  Another killing proves that someone else is taking a hand in the game. An interested spectator, sitting behind the scenes, is certain that not one but several people are at work. Eventually there are so many suspects that it becomes hard to keep them straight and impossible to hit upon the most and least likely villains.  Under these conditions of low visibility Hugh Beaumont and his  sec'y, Cheryl Walker, perform creditably.  When the murderer is finally revealed by our oft-flattened dick he deserves a golden credit for perseverance in face of stern plot odds." (New York Post, May 8, 1946)

“In this “Michael Shayne” mystery, a calm, cool detective, pursues the bad-guys and solves a murder.” Corel All Movie Guide 2


THREE ON A TICKET  (1947)

C. 3 March 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP857
B&W  60 Mins.  Good Copyright *** Corel All Movie Guide 2
    
Director:                           Sam Newfield
Writer:                              Fred Myton
Producer:                          Sigmund Neufeld
Cinematog.:                     John H. Greenhalgh, Jr.
Music Dir.:                       Dick Carruth
Composer:                        Emil Cadkin
Editor:                               Holbrook Todd
Set Decor.:                        Elias H. Reif/Harry Reif
Story:                                 Brett Halliday
Cast:                                   Hugh Beaumont, Cheryl Walker, Ralph Dunn, Louise Currie, Paul Bryar,
                                             Gavin Gordon, Brooks Benedict, Noel Cravat, Douglas Fowley, Charles
                                             King, Trudy Marshall, Charles Quigley

Stars Hugh Beaumont as detective Mike Shayne in "a good action whodunit story...at a smart clip that will please.  Suspense is maintained by playing and direction and production mounting obtains values better than expected from budget expenditure.  Plot... deals with the dauntless private eye's adventures while trying to outguess a choice bunch of doublecrossing crooks... all after cache of bank loot hidden in a railroad locker.   Ticket necessary to recover loot has been torn into thirds and holders all are trying to obtain parts held by others.... Hugh Beaumont is excellent as Shayne and his work is ably backed by Cheryl Walker, who gives considerable life to the role of the private detective's smart secretary....others in cast are good... Lensing... settings, and other production ingredients are expert."  (Variety, April 9, 1947)

“In this detective drama, Michael Shayne, private investigator, must put together three pieces of a torn railway locker ticket before a gang of crooks can do it so he can be the first to open a locker containing the loot from a recent heist.” Corel All Movie Guide 2


TOO MANY WINNERS  (1947)

C. 24 May 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1021
B&W  60 Mins.  Good Copyright **½ Corel All Movie Guide 2
   
Director:                            William Beaudine
Writer:                                John Sutherland
Producer:                           John Sutherland
Cinematog.:                      John H. Greenhalgh, Jr.
Art Director:                     Tommy Thompson
Composer:                         Alvin Levin
Editor:                                Harry Reynolds
Story:                                  Brett Halliday
Cast:                                    Hugh Beaumont, Byron Foulger, Trudy Marshall, Ralph Dunn, Claire
                                              Carleton, John Hamilton, Charles Mitchell, Jean Andren, Frank S.
                                              Hagney, George Meader, Ben Welden

Good mystery with Hugh Beaumont as private detective Mike Shayne. "This time crime threatens to halt duck-hunting vacation planned by Beaumont and his secretary, looker Trudy Marshall.  He has to turn a quick job of solving mystery of how winning pari-mutual tickets are being counterfeited."  Detective is "punched around plenty and a number of murders tossed in for extra measure to provide thrills while private eye is  unraveling case. It doesn't take him long to spot the culprit as the race-track manager and case is closed with chief suspects and main heavy all bumped off.... Plenty of action for whodunit flavor."  (Variety, June  4, 1947)

“In this suspenseful crime drama, the very last in the “Michael Shayne” series, the ace detective goes off duck hunting for some well deserved rest and relaxation.  While there he does more than play with fowl; he also uncovers foul play and breaks up a counterfeiting ring.” Corel All Movie Guide 2


II.  THE FALCON
                                                          
APPOINTMENT WITH MURDER  (1948)

C. 4 Nov. 1948  Falcon Productions, Inc. LP2022
B&W  65 Mins.  Good Copyright  

Director:                               Jack Bernhard
Writer:                                  Don Martin
Producer:                             Jack Bernhard
Cinematog.:                         Walter Strenge
Composer:                            Karl Hajos
Editor:                                   Asa Boyd Clark
Set.Decor:                             Earl B. Wooden
Makeup:                                Ted Larsen
Story:                                     by Harold Santon and Joel Malone
Cast:                                       John Calvert, Lyle Talbot, Catherine Craig, Jack Reitzen, Robert Conte,
                                                 Peter Brocco, Jack Chefe, Anna Demetrio, Carole Donne, Gene Garrick,
                                                 Pat Lane, Michael Mark, Frank A. Richards, Carlo Schipa, Carl
                                                 Sklover, Ben Welden, Eric Wilton
     
               
Mystery, starring John Calvert as The Falcon, an insurance investigator tracing stolen old masters from Hollywood to Italy.  "Before the old masters are retrieved, Calvert has a busy time of it in outwitting culprit... as well as analyzing the complicity of art gallery owner Catherine Craig in the matter."  (Variety, October 13, 1948) “In this entry in the “falcon” series, the intrepid detective is on the trail of some stolen artwork and ends up going first to LA and then to Italy to get it back.” Corel All Movie Guide 2


SEARCH FOR DANGER  (1949)

C. 21 April 1949  Falcon Productions, Inc.  LP2264
B&W  64 Mins.  Good Copyright
   
Director:                               Jack Bernhard
Writer:                                  Don Martin
Producer:                             Jack Bernhard
Cinematog.:                         Paul Ivano
Art Director:                        Boris Leven
Composer:                            Karl Hajos
Editor:                                   Asa Boyd Clark
Story:                                     character created by Michael Arlen; story by Jerome Epstein
Cast:                                       John Calvert, Albert Dekker, Myrna Dell, Douglas Fowley, Ben
                                                 Welden, Peter Brocco, Jack Daly, James Griffith, Mauritz Hugo,
                                                 Michael Mark, Peter Michael, Billy Nelson

Routine mystery with John Calvert as The Falcon, an insurance investigator.  He "... tracks down an absconded partner of pair of gamblers [Albert Dekker and Ben Welden] which leads to partner's murder.  With stolen $100,000 involved, there's a second murder, and it's anybody's guess then who's the guilty party, with practically all principals under suspicion."   (Variety,  April 20, 1949)

“In this entry in the “Falcon” series of detective dramas, the super suave sleuth must find the two gamblers who stole $100,000 and kidnaped a man.” Corel All Movie Guide 2




III.  PHILO VANCE
                                                          
PHILO VANCE RETURNS  (1947)

C. 14 June 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1052
B&W  64 Mins.  Good Copyright  *** Corel All Movie Guide 2
 
Director:                                   William Beaudine
Producer:                                  Howard Welsch
Writer:                                      Robert Kent
Cinematog.:                             Jackson J. Rose
Art Director:                            Perry Smith
Music Dir.:                               Irving Friedman
Composer:                                Albert Glasser
Editor:                                      Gene Fowler, Jr.
Set Decor.:                               Armor E. Marlowe
Story:                                        character created by S.S. VanDine
Cast:                                          William Wright, Terry Austin, Leon Belasco, Clara Blandick, Iris
                                                    Adrian, Frank Wilcox, Ramsay Ames, Time Murdock, Damian
                                                    O’Flynn, Mary Scott, Ann Staunton

Good mystery starring William Wright as private detective Philo Vance.  He "... has the assignment of solving the murder of a playboy and prevent [sic] the extermination of his numerous ex-wives and former fiances.  The wildoater previous to his enforced demise had made a will leaving a huge trust fund to be shared with those previously involved in his lovelife.  With  that kind of will, it's advantageous to have the ex's liquidated, but Vance, as usual, selects the proper culprit after the regulation number of corpses are strewn about."  (Variety, April 30, 1947)

“In this murder mystery, intrepid detective Vance looks into the murder of a notorious playboy.  Vance must hurry as the killer is systematically killing all of the womanizer’s ex-wives, and former girl friends, each of whom has a stake in the deceased’s vast fortune.” Corel All Movie Guide 2


PHILO VANCE'S GAMBLE  (1947)

C. 12 March 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1205
B&W  62 Mins.  Good Copyright
       
Director:                                Basil Wrangell
Writers:                                  Eugene Conrad, Arthur St. Claire
Producer:                               Howard Welsch
Cinematog.:                          Jackson J. Rose
Art Director:                         Perry Smith
Music Dir.:                            Irving Friedman
Editor:                                    Donn W. Hayes
Set Decor.:                             William Kiernan, Armor E. Marlowe
Story:                                      character created by S.S. VanDine; story by Lawrence Edmund
                                                  Taylor
Cast:                                         Alan Curtis, Sheila Ryan, Terry Austin, Frank Jenks, Tala Birell,
                                                   Gavin Gordon, Frank Jenks, James Burke, Cliff Clark, Joseph Crehan,
                                                    Charles Mitchell, Francis Pierlot, Dan Seymour, Grady Sutton

Fair mystery with "fair pacing, occasional touches of humor, and a vast amount of gunplay" starring Alan Curtis as private detective Philo Vance. He is "drawn into a case in which a syndicate illegally acquires a huge emerald, and is about to peddle it when the chief thief is slain.  Other murders follow in fairly rapid succession, and Vance finally lands the culprit."   (Variety, April 30, 1947)

“In this entry in the detective series, Vance looks into several deaths that seem to center around the theft of a rare emerald.  First killed is the leader of the jewel thieves.  Many more people die, before the mystery is solved.” Corel All Movie Guide 2


PHILO VANCE'S SECRET MISSION  (1947)

C. 5 Aug. 1947  Pathe Industries, Inc.  LP1180
B&W  58 Mins.  Good Copyright  
    
Director:                                Reginald Le Borg
Writer:                                    Lawrence Edmund Taylor
Producer:                               Howard Welsch
Cinematog.:                           Jackson J. Rose
Art Director:                          Perry Smith
Film Editor:                           Donn W. Hayes
Set Decor.:                              Armor E. Marlowe, Clarence I. Steensen
Special Eff.:                            George J. Teague
Story:                                       character created by S.S. VanDine
Cast:                                         Alan Curtis, Sheila Ryan, Tala Birell, Frank Jenks, James Bell,
                                                   Kenneth Farrell, Frank Fenton, David Leonard, Paul Maxey

Good mystery starring Alan Curtis as private detective Philo Vance.  "Film gets off to a quick start when detective magazine head Paul Maxey is murdered at his palatial home.  Maxey had called Curtis in to write a novel concerning an unsolved murder for which, Maxey said, he could supply the ending. Curtis follows through, out of curiosity, and learns that Tala Birell's husband  had been murdered seven years previously and that Maxey  thought he had the answer.  Curtis decides that he must first solve her husband's murder before he can solve Maxey's.... plenty of action..."  (Variety, November 26,  1947)

“S.S. Van Dyne’s gentleman detective is reduced to an ordinary “hard boiled” gumshoe in this inexpensive mystery.  Philo Vance (Alan Curtis) is hired by a magazine publisher, ostensibly as a technical advisor for a crime periodical.  This is a cover for his “secret mission”: to learn the truth behind the death of the publisher’s former partner seven years earlier.  When the publisher himself is killed, Vance learns that practically everyone who came in contact with the dead man had a motive.  Vance gets to the bottom of things with the dubious help of his pretty secretary (Sheila Ryan).  Philo Vance’s Secret Mission was the fourteenth and final Hollywood film based on Van Dyne’s creation.” Corel All Movie Guide 2
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