Forty Naughty Girls (1937)

Approved  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime  |  24 September 1937 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 175 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

While Oscar and Hildegarde are attending a Broadway show, a press agent is shot in an actress' dressing room and an actor is murdered onstage in full view of the audience. Oscar and Hildegarde are on the case.


(as Edward Cline)


(screen play), (story), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
George Shelley ...
Rita Marlowe
Frank M. Thomas ...
Jeff Plummer
Tom Kennedy ...
Detective Casey
Alan Edwards ...
Ricky Rickman
Stephen Chase ...
Tommy Washburn (as Alden Chase)
Eddie Marr ...
Windy Bennett (as Edward Marr)
Ada Leonard ...


Police Inspector Oscar Piper and Hildegared Withers attend the opening night of a Broadway play in New York City, and the show's press agent is murdered before the curtain goes up. But the show must go on and while Piper is busily investigating the killing while the play goes on, the play's librettist is shot. Piper and Withers are in and out of dressing rooms, in audience cubicles belonging to the producer and press agent, and in the basement storeroom, and far stage left and right working on finding the killer before the curtain drops. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The screen's funniest sleuth and sleuthess...on the trail of another crime!


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 September 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mulher do Delegado  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The opening stock footage of Broadway obviously belongs to an earlier era than 1937, when this film is set. "The Whole Town's Talking" and "Black Fury" are shown as playing first run theaters, both of which were released in 1935. There is also marquee advertising "Scarface," a 1932 film later re-released in 1936. See more »


Man Watching Piper Enter Theater: [Derisively after seeing Piper exit a cab in front of the theater in top hat and tails] I know him! Inspector Piper - homicide squad - imitating a head waiter.
See more »


Follows Murder on a Bridle Path (1936) See more »


Forty Naughty Girls
(1937) (uncredited)
Composer unknown
Performed by George Shelley, Marjorie Lord and chorus in the show
See more »

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User Reviews

I don't know if the forty girls were that naughty but...
21 April 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

... whoever is responsible for this travesty was very naughty and deserves to be grounded. It takes a great deal of effort to make either James Gleason or Zasu Pitts boring - in fact I'd never seen it happen before - but this film did it.

This film was supposed to be a continuation of the James Gleason/Edna Mae Oliver crime mysteries starting with Penguin Pool murder in 1932. Those two had great chemistry and were a believable pair both in the sleuthing and possibly even romantic categories. The zingers and one liners flew in their films, even after the production code came in. Here Zasu Pitts is replacing Ms. Oliver as schoolteacher Hildegarde Withers as she and detective Oscar Piper (James Gleason) step out together to watch the show "Forty Naughty Girls". Beforehand there is a set-up of situations that show the eventual murder victim causing trouble for various people associated with the show. When he predictably turns up dead, Piper and Withers are on the scene to solve the mystery. The problem is, from that point forward they are not really acting as a team as they were before. They seem to be operating independently and just bump into each other as a matter of circumstance or slapstick.

The show that acts as a backdrop for the mystery just doesn't seem very naughty or even funny for that matter, the suspects are not very interesting or memorable, and our two leads are poorly served by the entire mess. If you want to see what this crime series was at its peak watch "Penguin Pool Murder", "Murder on the Blackboard", or "Murder on a Honeymoon". If you want to see James Gleason and Zasu Pitts be entertaining, watch just about anything they ever did but this.

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i can see why this series fizzled out... ksf-2
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