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The Man Who Wouldn't Die (1942)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Mystery  |  1 May 1942 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 253 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 4 critic

A private detective gets mixed up with a phony spiritualist racket.

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(screen play), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Marjorie Weaver ...
Helene Reynolds ...
Anna Wolff
...
Dr. Haggard
Richard Derr ...
Roger Blake
Paul Harvey ...
Dudley Wolff
...
Phillips - the Butler
Olin Howland ...
Chief of Police Jonathan Meek (as Olin Howlin)
Robert Emmett Keane ...
Alfred Dunning
LeRoy Mason ...
Zorah Bey
...
Coroner Tim Larsen
Francis Ford ...
Caretaker
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Storyline

In the shadows of the night Dudley Wolff (Paul Harvey), his secretary Alfred Dunning (Robert Emmett Keane), and his doctor, Haggard (Henry Wilcoxon), bury a body in the estate cemetery. At the house, Wolff's daughter Catherine (Marjorie Weaver) arrives unexpectedly and tells her step-mother Anne Wolff (Helene Reynolds that she has just been married to Roger Blake (Richard Derr) who will be along in a few days. Cathy retires and is awakened by a mysterious assailant who fires a shot at her, but her parents tell her she was just dreaming. Wolff goes to the cemetery and finds the body missing. The scared Cathy calls in fast-talking private detective Mike Shayne (Lloyd Nolan) and, since her father doesn't like detectives, she introduces him as her husband. That evening Shayne hears a shot and finds that Haggard has been killed. While the police are questioning the family, the lights go out and a shot is fired from outside. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An Empty Grave... A Cunning, Gunning Ghost... And Michael Shane! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 May 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Million Dollar Ghost  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Shayne confronts Dudley Wolff, his wife and Dunning in the den, he refers to Wolff's partner buried "last night in the woods". That was actually two nights before, as the previous night was the one when Dr Haggard got killed. See more »

Quotes

Michael Shayne: [amazed at the size of the bathroom] DeMille have something to do with this?
See more »

Connections

Followed by Time to Kill (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

The Dear Little Shamrock
(uncredited)
Written by Andrew Cherry
Sung by Lloyd Nolan
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Entertaining but a bit confusing...
6 July 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

A young woman awakens at night to see a man with glowing eyes staring at her. This man shoots at her but misses and when she tells others, there's no evidence she was there! They act as if it's some sort of dream, but she's sure it isn't.

Now how Michael Shayne gets involved is pretty odd. This same woman later meets him along the road and asks him to pose as her husband. She is apparently married but wants to pass Shayne off as her new husband. None of this made sense--why didn't she just bring her real husband? Why didn't she just tell people that he was a private detective--especially when he found the bullet shot at her--proving someone DID shoot at her! Odd indeed!

In the midst of this mystery, a man takes off from the mansion and is chased by Shayne and the police chief. The car crashes and the man is thrown. The chief very quickly pronounces him dead. Inexplicably, the body disappears later! Was he really dead or did someone steal the corpse? This is all getting very strange and confusing (especially for the audience), as there are lots and lots of seemingly divergent plot points in the film. Supposedly, this is all related somehow to some strange magician, Zorah Bey.

This is an enjoyable Michael Shayne film, mostly due to the seemingly relaxed performance by Lloyd Nolan as Shayne. However, the story is a tad confusing and seems to perhaps have too many twists and turns...but it never is dull. For lovers of B-detective films, this one is certainly worth finding.


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