A man is giving a lecture on how to be a detective. The first section of the lecture deals with identifying criminals, where he asks a sketch artist to compile a composite of the complete ... See full summary »
A man is giving a lecture on how to be a detective. The first section of the lecture deals with identifying criminals, where he asks a sketch artist to compile a composite of the complete criminal based on the stereotypical features of several different known criminals, and the types of crimes they generally commit. The second section deals with how to catch a criminal. As luck would have it, he gets a call about a crime, which he uses as real life case study. Luck is perhaps what he really needs to catch the criminal. The third section deals with getting a confession. He demonstrates his approach to questioning a suspect, where he often gets more information than he anticipates. The fourth and final section deals with how to get a conviction. Although that is a role of the police, a good detective always likes to have a hand in that conviction. The lecturer shows definitively in this section why crime does not pay. Written by
This is a pretty good entry in Robert Benchley's "How To " series of short comedies, with Benchley this time playing a detective giving lectures on his work. It includes some good gags, and Benchley himself is fun to watch, with his amiably amusing manner.
The movie is mostly episodic, with each 'lesson' about detection generally focusing on one particular gag that is set up carefully. In most cases, you can pretty much see the punch line coming, but that's part of Benchley's skill; his manner of setting it up and his understated reaction to the payoff are often just as funny as the gag itself.
Benchley's style works well in this format. This comedy doesn't offer any uproarious laughs, but it does feature a few good comedy ideas that are carried off with Benchley's droll style.
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