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The Lady in the Morgue (1938)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Mystery | 22 April 1938 (USA)
A detective investigates the disappearance of a girl's body from the city morgue.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Det. Bill Crane
Mrs. Sam Taylor
Thomas E. Jackson ...
Police Lieutenant Strom (as Thomas Jackson)
Chauncey Courtland (as Gordon Elliott)
Sam Taylor
Kay Renshaw
Joe Downing ...
Steve Collins (as Joseph Downing)
Archie Robbins ...
Frankie French (as James Robbins)
Inspector Layman
Brian Burke ...
Donald Kerr ...
Don Brodie ...
Taxi Driver
Rollo Lloyd ...


A detective investigates the disappearance of a girl's body from the city morgue.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A MYSTERY THAT ELECTRIFIED THE WORLD!..Solved by a detective with shock-absorber nerves...who crashed in where both angels and fools feared to tread! See more »


Action | Crime | Mystery


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 April 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aventura Cavalheiresca  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


In 1937, Universal entered into a deal with Crime Club, a publisher of popular pulp mysteries, allowing it to select up to four of its books annually for production as B-pictures. The Crime Club series was produced by Irving Starr. This was the third of eleven novels produced under the deal. See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Steve Martin/Kinky Friedman (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

Preston Foster hunts for missing corpse and killer
24 November 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Lady in the Morgue" is an enjoyable and well-executed film on the back of a complex plot that leaves one murder unsolved, as far as I can tell, and I've checked it several times.

A blonde has been found dead in a hotel room, an apparent suicide. The room in which she is found is a detail that's not cleared up satisfactorily as far as I can tell. Her identity is a question mark. That's central to the story.

Her body is stolen from the morgue and the attendant left dead. Foster and Jenks are working for the Cortland family, after being told that the dead woman may be a missing daughter. Bill Elliott (of Wild Bill fame) is the daughter's brother, and he shows up to to lend a hand.

Thomas E. Jackson, who brought down Little Caesar in 1931, is on hand again as the police lieutenant.

Adding to the complexity are two women and two gangsters. The two gangsters want to know if the dead woman is a moll named Arlene. The two women are Patricia Ellis and Barbara Pepper. Ellis had a room next to the dead woman, plus she had $3,000 in her possession, which she may have gotten from one of the gangsters or maybe not. Pepper is using the name Kay Renshaw but may be Arlene.

I give the story a 4 because of its loose ends, and also the motivations of the main characters. The execution of this is a 6 or 7. That's how I end up with a 5.

But if I read a review that clears everything up to my satisfaction, I'll raise my rating.

Foster does an excellent job, and so do all the players. The movie has humor and repartee but still has a feeling of danger.

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