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The Panther's Claw (1942)

Passed  -  Crime | Mystery  -  15 May 1942 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 67 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 1 critic

The police arrest a man climbing over the wall of a cemetery after midnight. He claims that he is being blackmailed and is following instructions he received by mail to leave $1000 on a ... See full summary »



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Title: The Panther's Claw (1942)

The Panther's Claw (1942) on IMDb 5.9/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rick Vallin ...
Anthony 'Tony' Abbot (as Ricki Vallin)
Byron Foulger ...
Everett P. Digberry
Herbert Rawlinson ...
District Attorney Bill Dougherty
Lynn Starr ...
Miss Spencer
Barry Bernard ...
Capt. Edgar Walters / Frank Galloway
Gerta Rozan ...
Nina Politza
Thornton Edwards ...
Enrico Lombardi (as Joaquin Edwards)
John Ince ...
Capt. Mike Flynn
Martin Ashe ...
Officer Murphy
Walter James ...
Capt. Tom Henry
Frank Darien ...
Samuel Wilkins
Joseph DeVillard ...
Antonio Spogucci (as Joseph M. De Villard)
Jacques Vanaire ...
Guiseppe Bartarelli (as Jack Vanaire)
Willy Castello ...
John Martin George (as William Castello)


The police arrest a man climbing over the wall of a cemetery after midnight. He claims that he is being blackmailed and is following instructions he received by mail to leave $1000 on a certain grave. It turns out that he's not the only one who got a blackmail letter from the same person--calling himself "The Black Panther"--and it also turns out that all the recipients are connected to an opera company. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

opera | police | blackmail | cemetery | murder | See more »


What was the meaning of the fateful claw-prints that meant death to the receiver? IT'S SPINE-CHILLING! (original poster) See more »


Crime | Mystery


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 May 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shake Hands with Murder  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

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User Reviews

Good-natured mystery with a kitty
4 September 2011 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

Byron Foulger stars as Everett Digberry, a mild-mannered wigmaker for theatrical folks who, in the film's opening scene, is picked up by the cops climbing out of a cemetery late at night. Taken downtown, he finds a number of acquaintances in the commissioner's office; all of them, like him, have received mysterious letters demanding money and signed only with a panther's paw print.

Sidney Blackmer investigates as police commissioner Thatcher Colt with suavity and humor. He is ably assisted by Ricki Vallin as Anthony Abbot. (Somewhat bizarrely, the original story is also credited to "Anthony Abbot," the pen name of a mystery writer who was not the first to insert "himself" into a story.)

The mystery plot holds interest but doesn't create a huge amount of suspense, although it does take a few interesting turns, including one major shift that arguably renders the film's title misleading (but catchy!).

I would like to know, having watched these characters spend no little time looking over wigs, if Mr. Digberry is correct when he tells the commissioner, "One wigmaker can usually tell another's knot."

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