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Kid Glove Killer (1942)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | April 1942 (USA)
Crime lab expert Gordon McKay uses the latest forensic techniques to solve murders in a city plagued by political corruption and mob rackets.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Gordon McKay
Jane Mitchell
Gerald Ladimer
Mayor Daniels
Cliff Clark ...
Captain Lynch
Eddie Wright
Bessie Wright (as Catherine Lewis)
Mrs. Daniels


First feature film from director Fred Zinneman is a snappy little "B" feature that features Van Heflin as the head of a city crime lab who solves the murder of the town mayor by analyzing evidence from the crime. Written by <jbsports@li.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime under the microscope.Introducing Police chemist Gordon McKay.


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

April 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Along Came Murder  »

Box Office


$199,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Working titles: "Then There Were Two" and "Along Came Murder." See more »


Eddie Wright: Just bury me with one of your swell hamburgers on my chest.
Bessie Wright: With onions?
Eddie Wright: You oughta know by now.
See more »


Follows They're Always Caught (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

Prehistoric CSI
8 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This low-budget MGM crime flick is surprisingly entertaining. The best way to enjoy it is to suspend what you know about today's film-making and settle into a more innocent time when plots—like the movies themselves—were in black and white, when characters were labeled good or bad, when dialog was crisply effective (though artificial) and when even the deadliest dramas ended with wedding bells. One thing that separates "Kid Glove Killer" from similar films of the 1930s and '40s is the fact that its protagonist, Gordon McKay (Van Heflin) is not only a cop. He's in charge of a police crime laboratory. With the aid of his assistant, Jane Mitchell (Marsha Hunt), McKay solves murders and rids the city of corruption by using a microscope, a spectrograph and other tools that—mutatis mutandis—will be used again in crime-scene-investigation stories for decades to come, up to and including the current "CSI" television series. McKay scrapes beneath fingernails, vacuums people's hair and analyzes fibers to get trace evidence that will nail the crooks. The fact that you know all along who the crooks are doesn't spoil the fun—it's that kind of movie. Embedded in the investigation is a love triangle whose outcome is so obvious that you can go for popcorn without missing a beat. The acting is above par. Van Heflin's performance is adept if unspectacular. (That same year Heflin won a best-supporting-actor Oscar for "Johnny Eager.") Lee Bowman is suavely manipulative as a power-seeker. Marsha Hunt makes what she can of a role that has her wearing a lab coat one minute and an evening gown the next. In those days, of course, it was a Hollywood cliché that a professional woman would slog away at her job only till she could junk it in favor of marriage. This movie observes the cliché, but there is a hint of feminism in the fact that Jane Mitchell—whom everyone calls simply "Mitchell"—works as a chemist, a job more often held by men. Notable among supporting players are John Litel as a crime boss and Eddie Quillan as a victimized citizen. If you look fast, you can see Ava Gardner and Robert Blake in uncredited bit parts. This was Fred Zinnemann's first feature film, and he keeps the whole thing moving to a time clock. The bare-bones production and its repeated use of the same interior sets are not major drawbacks. "Kid Glove Killer" was never intended to be pâté de foie gras. It's a ham sandwich. Pass the mustard.

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