6.6/10
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9 user 3 critic

Tell No Tales (1939)

Passed | | Crime, Mystery, Drama | 12 May 1939 (USA)
Michael Cassidy is the editor of a failing newspaper. A scoop would be welcome to boost the sales and to avoid closure. To this end, he decides to personally track down a gang of kidnappers.

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(screenplay), (based on a story by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Matt Cooper (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Florence George ...
Lorna Travers
Halliwell Hobbes ...
Dr. Lovelake
...
Miss Mary
...
Davie Bryant
...
Miss Brendon
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
Charlie Daggett (as Hobart Cavanagh)
Oscar O'Shea ...
Sam O'Neil
Theresa Harris ...
Ruby
...
Mrs. Lovelake
...
Mrs. Haskins
...
Chalmers
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Storyline

Michael Cassidy is the managing-editor of a small newspaper which is about to be closed down by its new owner, Matthew Cooper, who owns another newspaper in the city and only bought the second one to get rid of the competition. There has been a kidnapping in the city and Cassidy gets one of the hundred-dollar-bills, paid in ransom, at a saloon and begins to trace the bill backwards step-by-step to get to the kidnappers. He is aided by Ellen Frazier, a schoolteacher, who is the only eye-witness. Each step leads to a miniature drama of it own to...to the widow, Ruby Alley, at the wake of her dead prizefighter-husband...to the owner of a gambling house, Arno, who discovers that his brother, the cashier of the casino, is involved in the kidnapping...to a husband who is not thrilled to learn his wife ahas been cheating on him...before he finds the kidnappers. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

newspaper | widow | wake | ransom | gang | See All (63) »

Genres:

Crime | Mystery | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cem Contra Um  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's initial television broadcast in Los Angeles took place Tuesday 25 December 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), followed by Philadelphia 21 July 1958 on WFIL (Channel 6), by San Francisco 1 January 1959 on KGO (Channel 7), and, finally by New York City 24 September 1960 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Slightly offbeat newspaper mystery-drama
13 April 2016 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

Suave newspaper editor Melvyn Douglas proudly runs the Guardian, a noble institution that has served the public for 75 years. But look out—tabloid owner Douglas Dumbrille has just purchased the Guardian and intends to kill it to increase his own rag's circulation. Seems like a serious newspaper melodrama....

But the picture quickly morphs into a detective story when sharp- eyed Douglas stumbles on a $100 bill that he recognizes as a marked bill used as ransom money in a recent high profile kidnapping case. He sets out to trace the bill's journey, hoping it will lead him to the kidnappers.

The search for the bill leads Douglas through an interesting series of vignettes….Each clue he follows leads him to a new stop where his visit has a strange and surprising effect (an imminent wedding is abruptly called off, for example). A post-funeral family gathering is the film's most somber and serious moment.

Douglas also manages to connect with schoolteacher Louise Platt, who witnessed the kidnapping. Although the police have her school pretty well surrounded specifically for her protection, clever Douglas manages not only to sneak into the school and find her, but to talk her into sneaking out with him to go chase the crooks….

Okay, so it gets a little far-fetched at times. However, despite some silliness the picture is not only entertaining but fascinating—even if it's not particularly good or believable, somehow you care what happens. Melvyn Douglas and Louise Platt are both easy to watch, and the supporting cast is full of fine performances from MGM's great roster of character actors.


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