A private detective is hired to retrieve a valuable antique coin that was stolen from its owner by her son, who used it to pay off a blackmailer. The private eye soon finds himself up to ... See full summary »
Set in England, rather than California, the story follows Raymond Chandler's book fairly closely otherwise. Philip Marlowe is asked by the elderly (and near death) General Sternwood to ... See full summary »
"Jigger' Lane forms a band that includes singer Ginger 'Character' Powell, wife of the trumpeter Leo Powelll, and Nickie Haroyen and Peppi. All of them dedicate themselves to work as a unit... See full summary »
Quiet young Orfamay Quest from Kansas has hired private detective Philip Marlowe to find her brother. After two leads turn up with ice picks stuck in them, he discovers blackmail photos ... See full summary »
Gil Kyle finds himself caught up in the politics and unrest of the American Civil War and soon gets himself framed for a murder. His only alibi is Candace Bronson, who is aiding the ... See full summary »
Based on the novel "The Long Goodbye" by Raymond Chandler, published 1953. Set in Tokyo during the 1950's. Tamotsu is suspected of murdering his actress wife Shizuka Harada. He flees to ... See full summary »
When the Japanese capture the principal radio station of the American Radio Communications Company in the Philippines, the staff manages to escape into the jungle, tie up with a band of ... See full summary »
A private detective is hired to retrieve a valuable antique coin that was stolen from its owner by her son, who used it to pay off a blackmailer. The private eye soon finds himself up to his ears in fights, more blackmail, hysterical women and murder. Written by
[Mike is speaking on the phone to a potential client with his feet propped on his desk revealing the holes in the soles of his shoes]
You want what? Oh, references. Well, sure, I'd glad to give you some references. You can call Senator Hugh Oglethorpe - no, no, no, you'd better not. I beat Hughie playing golf yesterday. You can call Sid Dreyfuss. Mm-hmm. That's Judge Sidney Dreyfuss, yeah - the State Supreme Court. Oh, that reminds me; I'm supposed to have dinner with him tonight. ...
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Zippy Mike Shayne outing, based on Chandler story. Only complaint: it's too short.
Time to Kill (Herbert I. Leeds, 1942) Lloyd Nolan's final outing as Michael Shayne, Fox Studios' cocky private eye, is one of the earliest Raymond Chandler adaptations, drawing its inspiration from The High Window. Shayne the irrepressible, quick-witted, appealing Nolan takes on an apparently simple assignment from the wealthy Mrs Murdoch (Ethel Griffies) and finds the bodies piling up around him. Fox's lack of faith in the series is evidenced by the slim running time, with this one playing barely more than an hour. That means you get 56 minutes of tightly-scripted thriller with a sardonic sense of humour before the scripters have to cram in a wordy, five-minute explanation of Chandler's convoluted plot. It's an absolute riot until then, though, and a return to form after a slightly disappointing sixth outing.
The series opener Michael Shayne, Private Detective is a classic of its type, with a hilarious script and slick, fast-moving direction, making a virtue of its low budget. The second film put him on a train (Sleepers West), the third took him to a theatre (Dressed to Kill) and the fourth and fifth appeared to have been made with spare Charlie Chan screenplays someone had left lying around. There's something of the Warner Oland Chan about the ship-bound Blue, White and Perfect, while The Man Who Wouldn't Die set in a haunted house and with a genuinely ingenious mystery is pure Toler. Just Off Broadway, which had Shayne solving a case whilst sitting on a jury, was less accomplished, but this one ends the Nolan series on a high, effortlessly recapturing the flavour of the first film. Tracing a murky investigation from the second Shayne gets pitched into the mystery fielding the call in his dingy office and reeling off a list of made-up references to the moment he wraps it up, it's a real treat. It's also nice to see Shayne get a girlfriend who can handle him. An extra 10 minutes would have been welcome, allowing the whodunit to be unwrapped in a more leisurely fashion and providing time during the climax for something other than solid exposition, though given half a chance I'm sure Nolan would have spent it all wisecracking anyway.
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