Opening with a car crash and a decapitation, the story is told in flashback as Jack and Doc become involved with a man who tells them that he will die in just such a manner in three days' ...
See full summary »
When he learns that a gangster has taken over his nightclub and murdered his partner, returning WW2 hero Joe Miracle steals the money from the club's safe and hides in a settlement home, while the mob is on his tail.
Opening with a car crash and a decapitation, the story is told in flashback as Jack and Doc become involved with a man who tells them that he will die in just such a manner in three days' time. Of course there is a large amount of money involved, and also an Oriental cult, mysterious women, a peg-legged man, and many deaths. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
Mr. Kerrigan's brief outline should refer to "Jack - not Joe - and Doc" for Jack Packard & Doc Long played by Jim Bannon and Barton Yarborough. These characters were first introduced on an earlier Carleton E. Morse radio series as San Francisco private eyes in "Adventures by Morse". When he returned to the air after WWII, writer-producer Morse added their posh British thrill-seeking buddy, Reggie York (Tony Randall). Most of the female roles, whether good girl or bad, were performed by Mercedes McCambridge who often superbly juggled 2 or 3 different character voices on the 15-min weekday serial and later half-hr weekly program. See more »
[after narrating his bizarre story of confronting "Mr. G.," the leader of the Baru-Kan secret society, who offered him $50,000 for his head]
The whole thing sounds so preposterous!
See more »
The first of three films from Columbia based around the popular radio program I Love a Mystery. In the film, detectives Jack Packard (Jim Bannon) and Doc Long (Barton Yarborough) meet a man (George Macready) who fears he's going to die in a matter of days because a secret cult wants his head to put on the body of their mummified master. The detectives begin to unravel clues that might lead to the man's wife (Nina Foch) who is also being stalked by the cult. Due to how they were showed on TCM I ended up watching the second film in the series, THE DEVIL'S MASK, first and hated it from start to finish so I really wasn't sure what to expect from this film. Turns out that it's one of the more unique murder/mysteries from this era due to dark, foggy streets, a rich atmosphere, interesting characters and a rather ugly subject matter. The word decapitation is used throughout this film and one of the biggest plot moves is that this man is going to have his head cut off. How this got past the censors is beyond me but it's these dark touches that really make this film stick out, especially when compared to other films like this. Director Levin does a very good job at building up the atmosphere as we get several classic touches from the dark streets, people hiding in shadows and of course one plot twist happening after another. The movie actually manages to be very believable in all the twists that happen and it's helped even more by the fact that the mystery itself is a good one. Bannon is very good in the role and his laid back approach makes for an interesting leading man. Yarborough, playing pretty much a country bumpkin, isn't too bad either. Macready does a real good job playing the scared man who feels he's about to die. The film belongs to the ladies though as Foch is terrific in her few scenes as the wife and we also get a great femme fatal in Carole Mathews playing a strange woman who Macready meets in a bar. At 69-minutes the film runs just long enough to get enough right and it doesn't over welcome itself by going for too long. Fans of this genre will want to check this out just for the darker than normal subject matter and the fun performances.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?