A beautiful showgirl, name "the Canary" is a scheming nightclub singer. Blackmailing is her game and with that she ends up dead. But who killed "the Canary". All the suspects knew and were ... See full summary »
Eight strangers are invited by a mysterious unknown host to spend the night in a penthouse apartment. The eight (5 men, 3 women) are wined, dined, then greeted by their host's voice via a ... See full summary »
Roy William Neill
Bachelor Harry Quincey, head designer in a small-town cloth factory, lives with his selfish sisters, glamorous hypochondriac Lettie and querulous widow Hester. His developing relationship ... See full summary »
13 years before the movie opens, there was a dinner party, at which the 13th guest failed to show up. The master of the manner has died, and left the bulk of his estate to this 13th guest, ... See full summary »
J. Farrell MacDonald
The earliest documented telecast of this film in New York City occurred Wednesday 4 February 1948 on WCBS (Channel 2). On the West Coast, it first aired in San Francisco Wednesday 13 April 1949 on KPIX (Channel 5). See more »
What's up, Mr. Drake?
You of course know this 'Black Ace.'
Oh, sure. We *just* missed catching him about 6 months ago.
Sure, we trapped one of his earwiggers. It was like this: I'm wise this guy blatts out for stoolin'. So I'm crowdin' him wit' the heater but he don't belch. I know he's an alky stiff so I start feedin' him the dynamite when Clancy walks in wit' this guy's twist. She's all full o' happy dust and leapin'. He calls for a blizzard so we let 'er have it, figgerin' on the beef, see? ...
[...] See more »
Unassuming mystery with fun cast, plenty of laughs
With a roomful of suspects listening tensely, police detective Frank McHugh reads aloud a letter that may identify the killer known as the Black Ace. Suddenly the lights go out. There are shrieks and shouts. When the lights come back on, the letter has vanished! No, it's not the most original plot ever, but good humor and engaging performances still make this a fun little picture.
Chester Morris is a crime writer researching a book on the Black Ace, the elusive criminal who always leaves a black ace warning his victims they are soon to die. Morris visits Henry Stephenson, a well-known expert on the subject in hopes of joining forces. Vivienne Osborne is the plucky daughter of Stephenson's secretary; her father is an early victim. These three stars give solid, efficient performances.
The real central figures of the picture, however, are dubiously capable detectives Frank McHugh and Allen Jenkins. The two make a catchy team, take turns butchering the language, and just generally undermine any attempts by the other charactersor the audienceat taking this whole picture too seriously. I guarantee youif you don't like dumb detective humor, you will not enjoy this film!
The plot, though unoriginal, is nevertheless well managed; even Morris's character, the presumed hero, is a potential suspect, as is everyone else in the story.
Funniest bit: McHugh and Jenkins telling the story of their earlier encounter with the Black Ace, rich in impenetrable slang ("So I'm crowdin' him with the heater, but he don't belch ") and including McHugh's hilarious admonition to Jenkins"How many times have I gotta tell ya? These guys don't understand them technical terms!"
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