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An actor is killed during the performance of a play and critic Tony Woolrich (Dave O'Brien) undertakes to solve the crime. Claudia Moore (Kay Aldridge, in her last movie role), the girl he loves, is suspected, but when two more deaths occur, she is also threatened by the Phantom Killer. During a production of "Julius Caesar" the killer makes a final attempt. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tony Woolrich is an oddity for '40s mysteriesa newspaper man who decidedly does not think of himself as a detective. In fact, this film opens with a murder at the theater, and all theater critic Woolrich wants to do is get back to his paper and review the play. He is encouraged to pursue the mystery by his editor, who is understandably upset that the paper has missed a big scoop, and also by his sidekick, Romeo the cab driver. Eventually throwing himself into the job, Tony turns out to be surprisingly good at detective work (for a drama critic, anyway!) and his connections in the theater world help him quickly surpass the little progress achieved by rather dim police detective Walsh (Jack Mulhall).
Dave O'Brien as Tony is earnest and appealing; Frank Jenks as Romeo is appropriately helpful and smart-alecky. (Tony: "I know it's a boorish thing to do but I'd like to follow her." Romeo: "All detectives are boorish, don't let that worry you.") Kay Aldridge is good but unmemorable as leading lady Claudia Moore in a role that doesn't offer much in the way of surprises.
Alan Mowbray is fun as the famous actor at the center of the mysterious events, and even gets to declaim a few lines from Julius Caesar in a climactic scene.
Disguises, old grudges, secret marriages oh, those actors' lives are so full of intrigue!
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