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No Hands on the Clock (1941)

Passed  -  Crime | Drama  -  1 December 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 50 users  
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The first of three Pine-Thomas productions for Chester Morris finds him as wise-cracking private detective Humphrey Campbell who impresses his boss, Oscar Flack, no end by not only finding ... See full summary »



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Title: No Hands on the Clock (1941)

No Hands on the Clock (1941) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast overview:
Detective Humphrey Campbell
Mrs. Louise Campbell
Rose Hobart ...
Mrs. Marion West
Dick Purcell ...
Red Harris
Astrid Allwyn ...
Gypsy Toland
Rod Cameron ...
Tom Reed - Ranch Foreman
Lorin Raker ...
Clyde Copley - Undertaker
Billie Seward ...
Rose Madden
George Watts ...
Oscar Flack
James Kirkwood ...
Warren Benedict
Robert Middlemass ...
Police Chief Bates
Ralph Sanford ...
Officer Gimble
Grant Withers ...
Harry Belding - Handyman
George J. Lewis ...
Dave Paulson - Piano Player (as George Lewis)


The first of three Pine-Thomas productions for Chester Morris finds him as wise-cracking private detective Humphrey Campbell who impresses his boss, Oscar Flack, no end by not only finding a missing girl but also marrying her in the process. So Flack sends him to celebrate his honeymoon in the Divorce Capital of the world, Reno, Nevada, to find a missing man. Along the way, in a mixture of big city crime and old-west settings, Humphrey encounters a large assortment of suspicious characters, all of whom are also suspicious of the others. A comedy that also includes some killings along the way. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


MYSTERY...MADNESS...MURDER! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Crime | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 December 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

No Hands on the Clock  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »


Music by Louis Alter (uncredited)
Played by nightclub pianist
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User Reviews

Good cast in entertaining but complicated comedy
4 November 2011 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

Private detective Chester Morris phones his boss: he has found the person their detective agency was hired to find, but he is not bringing her back—in fact, he's just married her and they're on their way to Reno for a honeymoon. Alas, the boss follows and mystery awaits Morris and new wife Jean Parker; the couple check into a hotel across the street from a mortuary fronted by a large clock with swinging pendulum but no actual hands, where they proceed to spend a merry 75 minutes chasing crooks and each other around the neighborhood.

A strong cast of B movie stalwarts includes Dick Purcell as a bank robber named Red, and Astrid Allwyn as a dangerous female at the bar. George Watts is the comical yet crafty boss detective who drags our man Chester into the case by promising to buy Parker a fur coat when the case is finished. (Other familiar faces who appear in bits include Milburn Stone as an FBI man and Keye Luke as a cash-hungry fired house servant.)

The plot is, frankly, way too involved and packed with too many characters for it all to make a lot of sense. Among other story threads, it seems that both the FBI and the gang of robbers think that Chester is a fellow bank robber whom he apparently resembles greatly (but whom we never meet).

What are easy to follow, however, are the reasons we watch in the first place—little touches like Morris's fondness for milk contrasted with Parker's inability to drink it at all; the accordion that Morris repeatedly picks up but never gets around to playing for more than a measure or so; and, of course, the handless clock that our heroes can see from their hotel window. (A symbol of something? Perhaps it would have been in a movie that had had the time to develop such an idea.)

It's fast moving and fun. Having watched with moderate attentiveness, I can honestly say that I don't feel much moved by the actual plot, and I'm not particularly concerned about the meaning of the clock. However—I would like to ask the same question of Chester Morris and his accordion that the room service boy asked him early on in the picture: "Can you jive on that thing?"

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