Criminal Investigator (1942) Poster

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5/10
Pleasant but not riveting Monogram
Paularoc22 June 2012
I enjoy the B murder mysteries from the 1930s and 40s and this one is a Monogram mystery without a lot of sparkle but at least the print I saw of it on Netflix was pristine – and this is a good thing. Robert Lowery who has a very likable if somewhat bland screen persona is an aspiring reporter who gets his job because of his policeman father's pull. But actually he's a good reporter and soon stumbles (almost literally) over the body of a murdered showgirl who has just been released from prison. While investigating the murder he meets the dead woman's sister who unknowingly holds the key to her sister's murder. While there is a solid supporting cast including the always reliable and always suave and sly John Miljan, this movie is a little too light on snap and humor - but still a pleasant way to pass an hour.
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7/10
Any Movie with George O'Hanlon Is a Must-See!
JohnHowardReid11 July 2008
Although largely unknown except to "B"-feature fans who search out the DVD offerings from companies like Teakwood Video and R&B Video, this crime melodrama is actually a cut or two above the usual Monogram level and offers quite passable entertainment for viewers with a spare hour on their hands.

The playing by almost all concerned is unexpectedly very competent, while the pace rates as surprisingly brisk and the script even offers a genuinely unexpected double climax that is really staged with some flair by normally humdrum director Jean Yarbrough.

John Miljan gives a creditable account of himself in one of those shady lawyer roles in which he was frequently type-cast, though he is considerably less stiff than usual. Edith Fellows in her last starring role on the big screen before moving over to the stage and then television, is an effective heroine, although she does not have any of the film's songs. The script gives these to Jan Wiley, who renders them pleasantly enough though they are all quite unmemorable. Nonetheless, the backstage background with its bevy of leggy chorus girls certainly adds to the film's appeal. And any movie featuring George O'Hanlon is a must-see in my opinion! Hero Robert Lowery is one of the few weak links. He is a bit wet and the photography tends to be flat, but other production credits are more than adequate.
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