A bitter divorcée and a grumpy widower find themselves stuck in a hotel that is cut off from the outside by a snowstorm. Although both have no intention of getting married again, they begin... See full summary »
Nurse Anne Lee blames herself for a fatal mistake of her sister Lucy, who also is a nurse. Anne loses her job, and gets a new one at a poorly equipped country hospital. There she falls in ... See full summary »
Lord Peter Wimsey is an amateur detective. He is to be married to Harriet Vane, who writes crime novels, at a big Society wedding. Harriet has little charms made so that they both promise ... See full summary »
Arthur B. Woods,
Kenny Williams, a lieutenant on the homicide squad, is engaged to Maxine Carroll, the Mayor's secretary. Or isn't he rather married with his job? For each time he has a date with his ... See full summary »
Joel Sloane is a rare book dealer and part time detective. He finds stolen or lost rare books for the insurance companies and gets a reward for their return. But this is a little different. Otto Brockler, a rare book dealer with questionable ethics, has been murdered. The list of suspects is long. Ned, who Otto sent to prison to get insurance money and keep him away from Leah. Leah, who is in love with the falsely convicted Ned. Elias, a silent partner in stolen and forged books. Sydney, a master forger of rare books. Julia, Otto's secretary who has expensive clothes and jewelry. Joel is the one who must find the murderer before he becomes the next victim. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Re-titled 'The Rare Book Murder' in order to avoid confusion with the similarly titled Fast Company (1953), this film was initially telecast in Philadelphia Sunday 23 March 1960 on WFIL (Channel 6), followed by Los Angeles 22 April 1958 on KTTV (Channel 11); in New York City, it first aired 21 July 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2), and in San Francisco 4 June 1960 on KGO (Channel 7). Its original title has since been restored and it's in the Turner Classic Movies film library. See more »
This is one of several movies - more than just this one starring Melvyn Douglas as the husband/sleuth - that were made in the 30's trying to piggy-back off the success of 1934's "Thin Man". This one is pretty good, but it lacks what nearly all of the other Thin Man knock-offs lack - any perceived chemistry between the husband/wife sleuth team. In fact, I thought Douglas' scenes with Claire Dodd were more believable than the rather forced attempts at getting sparks to fly between Melvyn Douglas as rare book dealer Joe Sloane and Florence Rice as his wife Garda.
Apparently the Sloane book dealing business itself isn't doing that well,so Joe has been picking up extra bucks by finding stolen rare books and getting a 10% cut from the insurance company on what they would have had to pay had the books not been found. A friend of the Sloanes, Ned Morgan, has just gotten out of jail for stealing some rare books that were never recovered. He has always proclaimed his innocence, but after he's out of jail it seems the Sloanes and Ned's girl Leah Brockler are the only people who believe him - he can't find a job anywhere. Plus Leah's wealthy dad Otto Brockler (George Zucco) is threatening Ned with more jail if he doesn't leave Leah alone.
Well, next thing Otto is found dead, bludgeoned to death in his office by a statue on his desk. Joel gets involved because the police are already measuring a missing Ned for the electric chair. There are a multitude of suspects including Claire Dodd as Otto's secretary who dresses in expensive fashions considering her small salary, plus a couple of rare book counterfeiters played to perfection by Louis Calhern and Dwight Frye.
The pace is fast moving, the characters interesting, and Joel seems to move effortlessly through his sleuthing paces, just dripping with self confidence. This had me wondering - where did a rare book dealer come up with all of these detective skills? With a mystery film, the question I ask at the end is - would I watch it again, now that I know who did what? The answer in this case is yes - because the characters and just not the twists and turns of the plot make it memorable. Recommended.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?