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Bureau of Missing Persons (1933)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  16 September 1933 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 581 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 2 critic

Butch Saunders has been transferred to Missing Persons because he was too brutal in other police work. He regards the assignment as "kindergarten" work. When a young woman asks him to help ... See full summary »

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(screen play) (as Robert Presnell) , (story) (as John H. Ayres) , 1 more credit »
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Title: Bureau of Missing Persons (1933)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Police Captain Webb (as Lewis S. Stone)
...
Detective Butch Saunders
Glenda Farrell ...
Belle Howard Saunders
...
Detective Joe Musik
Ruth Donnelly ...
Gwendolyn 'Pete' Harris
...
Detective Hank Slade
Alan Dinehart ...
Therme Roberts
Marjorie Gateson ...
Mrs. Paul
Tad Alexander ...
Caesar Paul
Noel Francis ...
Alice Crane
Wallis Clark ...
Mr. Paul
Adrian Morris ...
Detective Irish Conlin
Clay Clement ...
Burton C. Kingman
Henry Kolker ...
Mr. Theodore Arno
Edit

Storyline

Butch Saunders has been transferred to Missing Persons because he was too brutal in other police work. He regards the assignment as "kindergarten" work. When a young woman asks him to help locate her husband, Therme, he learns that she is really Norma Phillips, wanted by Chicago police for murder of her husband. She escapes, but Saunders borrows a corpse from the morgue to arrange her fake funeral. The trap brings the woman and Therme to the mortuary out of curiosity. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 September 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Biuro osób zaginionych  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To promote the film, Warner Bros. issued a statement that they would pay $10,000 to Joseph F. Crater - a prominent New York City judge who disappeared in August, 1930 - if he would come to see the movie at the box office. Crater never came, and his disappearance remains unsolved to this day. See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are presented on title cards See more »

Connections

Remade as Missing Witnesses (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting only for Davis and O'Brien
18 June 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you've already seen all the well-known studio films from the early 30's, it's fun to go back and fill in with some lesser known ones, like this typical Warner's B-movie.

Its director, Roy del Ruth, was strictly B-list at this point in his career. The supporting cast -- Allen Jenkins, Ruth Donnelly, Glenda Farrell, Hugh Herbert -- are familiar from the Busby Berkeley movies, and each brings a stereotyped character briefly to life, which is what they were paid to do. Farrell in particular is funny as a gold-digger.

Pat O'Brien is actually the lead, although Bette Davis was given top billing. He's best known for playing butch types -- reporters, cops, soldiers, manly priests. (In this one, Butch is actually his character's name!) His performance here is surprisingly subtle and varied; it makes me want to see more of his movies.

Unfortunately the story is hopelessly implausible and unconvincing. Davis does the best she can with a confusingly-written part, although I can't quite tell whether she's trying to do an accent or not. And she changes from a blonde to a brunette halfway through -- was she shooting another picture at the same time?

The whole thing looks like it was thrown together in a couple of weeks. Probably the only really demanding scene to film was a car chase near the end, shot on location (or was it stock footage?).

All in all, probably worth 72 minutes of your time if you happen to run across it on TCM. Don't expect too much though...


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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