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Missing Witnesses (1937)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime  |  11 December 1937 (USA)
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The daring of the racketeers, all working for one organization, in an east coast city leads the Governor to create a new undercover law agency formed to combat the gangsters, and to find ... See full summary »



(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
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Title: Missing Witnesses (1937)

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Complete credited cast:
Dick Purcell ...
'Bull' Regan
Jean Dale ...
Mary Norton
Sheila Bromley ...
Gladys Wagner
Ben Welden ...
William Haade ...
Emmet White
Raymond Hatton ...
'Little Joe' Macey
Harland Tucker ...
Ward Sturgis
Jack Mower ...
Detective Butler
Jack Harron ...
Michael Mark ...
Earl Gunn ...
Chivvy Predo
Louis Natheaux ...
Heinie Dodds


The daring of the racketeers, all working for one organization, in an east coast city leads the Governor to create a new undercover law agency formed to combat the gangsters, and to find witnesses against them. Heading the agency is the Special Prosecutor's aide, Inspector Lane, and his assistants, Emmet White and Bull Regan. Mary Norton, who Bull has fallen in love with, is the secretary for one of the legitimate enterprises ran by Ward Sturgis, the head of the crime ring. Mary had accidentally learned of this, and had just managed to escape with her life from his yacht. Sturgis is found dead floating in the bay with several bullet holes in his body. Mary is the lead suspect and Bull is assigned the job of finding and arresting her, but she gives him the slip. When he does catch up with her again, it is to rescue her from the very-much alive Ward Sturgis, who had faked his death by having a look-alike killed. Written by Les Adams <>

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Release Date:

11 December 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Artiglio di velluto  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Remake of Bureau of Missing Persons (1933) See more »

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Forgettable Warner "B" Picture
12 November 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Missing Witnesses (1937)

** (out of 4)

Rather boring "B" film from Warner about a D.A. (John Litel) and a tough cop (Dick Purcell) who grow tired of various witnesses backing down from testifying against some racketeers. The two set out to try and locate people who will talk and the cop knows that one woman (Jean Dale) saw a major crime so he sets out to find her. MISSING WITNESSES is one of many Warner films that was ripped from the headlines but sadly there's just very little going on here. At just over a hour there's no question that the movie remains watchable thanks in large part to it being so short and featuring a couple known stars but there's no doubt that the film's appeal is going to be very low and mainly for those, such as myself, who enjoy watching these rare films when they pop up on Turner Classic Movies. The biggest problem is the story itself, which just isn't anything we haven't already seen countless times before. The entire plot dealing with witnesses being scared to talk has been done in other films (including MGM's Crime Does Not Pay series) and nothing new is done with it here. It also doesn't help that director William Clemens doesn't bring any energy to the material and by the thirty-minute mark the film is pretty much already out of gas. As usual, Litel and Purcell offer up fine performances but neither character is written good enough to where they could save the entire picture.

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