Lloyd Nolan brightens up the screen as investigator Michael Shayne in "Dressed to Kill" from 1941. While picking up his fiancé (Mary Beth Hughes) from her residential hotel so that they can finally get married, Shayne hears a scream from upstairs. Racing up there, he finds two people sitting at a dining table in costume and quite dead.
Eventually Shayne is led to a play done years earlier by the victims and begins looking at the other performers. Meanwhile, he's constantly tripping over both his angry fiancé and Police Inspector Pierson (William Demarest).
There's lots of comedy in this B movie, mostly provided by Demarest, who is one-upped every time by Shayne. The acting is terrific, with some really neat character actors: Virginia Brissac, Erwin Kaiser, Henry Daniel, and Mantan Moreland. Though in a stereotyped role, Moreland shows his talent as he does in the Charlie Chan films, this time even going into a dance.
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