Friday, February 2, 2018

Dressed to Kill (1941)

Director: Eugene Forde

Writers: Stanley Rauh, Manning O'Connor, Richard Burke

Composer: Cyril J. Mockridge

Starring: Lloyd Nolan, Mary Beth Hughes, Sheila Ryan, William Demarest, Ben Carter, Virginia Brissac, Erwin Kalser, Henry Daniell, Dick Rich, Milton Parsons, Charles Arnt, Charles Trowbridge, Hamilton MacFadden

More info: IMDb

Plot: Detective Michael Shayne and his girlfriend Joanne are on their way to be married when a scream from a nearby hotel room draws his attention to a pair of theatrical murders.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again?  YES!!!

How come I've never heard of this series or of its star, Lloyd Nolan?  I loved it.  Nolan is hilarious as a deadpan detective trying to solve a murder in time to marry his fiance (she points out that he's yet to solve the half dozen murder cases he's taken on).  He's witty, smart and focused.  That's fun on its own but things don't always go the way he plans on and that presents another set of challenges.  I think that's what I dug most about this picture.  The ending surprised me, too.  If I had one complaint its that William Demarest plays his detective role too over the top grouchy.  Other than that, it's a nicely paced and fun murder mystery.   This is the third of seven Michael Shayne pictures Nolan did and they were all made between 1940 and 1942!  I'm looking forward to seeing the rest.

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