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The Hat Box Mystery (1947)

Approved  |   |  Short, Crime, Drama  |  12 June 1947 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 51 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 3 critic

Susan Hart, assistant to private detective Russ Ashton, is given a camera concealed in a hat box and assigned to take a picture of a woman. A gun is accidentally hidden in the box and the ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tom Neal ...
Russ Ashton
Pamela Blake ...
Susan Hart
...
'Harvard'
Virginia Sale ...
Veronica Hoopler
Leonard Penn ...
Stevens, aka John Moreland
Olga Andre ...
Marie Moreland
Tom Kennedy ...
Patrolman Outside Embassy Apartments
Al Hill ...
Flint, the Boss
Edward Keane ...
District Attorney
Zon Murray ...
Joe, a thug
Bob Nunes
Jack Cheatham ...
Policeman
Edit

Storyline

Susan Hart, assistant to private detective Russ Ashton, is given a camera concealed in a hat box and assigned to take a picture of a woman. A gun is accidentally hidden in the box and the woman is killed. Susan is charged with murder, but Russ and his less-than-useful associate, Harvard, get on the case and prove that the fatal shot was fired by the killer from across the street. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | See All (1) »

Genres:

Short | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

12 June 1947 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

The credits begin to roll in a normal fashion, with a picture of a hat box in the background. It stops, and Tom Neal is shown in his detective agency; He begins talking about the bills he is holding, then he introduces the other three main characters, who enter and act as if the camera was a real audience, and tell their names in the movie. Then he says, "Here's the rest of our cast," and it reverts back to the regular screen with a hat box in the background. See more »

Connections

Followed by The Case of the Baby Sitter (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Robert Lippert presents, be warned
29 December 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

When I saw that Robert Lippert was listed on the credits as 'presenter' a lot of questions about The Hat Box Mystery were answered. Shortly Lippert would found his own studio that did poverty row quickies, some were better than others. Though it was a product of the short lived Screen Guild Productions, this film has all the earmarks of a typical Lippert.

Tom Neal takes over a ramshackle detective agency that's up to the privates in debt. Girl Friday Pamela Blake works for Neal as does Allen Jenkins whom he keeps around for laughs. And also due to the fact that Jenkins's girl friend apparently feeds them from her hamburger stand when they can't afford a meal.

A rather elegant man in spats and a van dyke beard says he'd like some incriminating evidence on his wife, a photograph coming out of a building where presumably a paramour resides. Blake volunteers and she has a camera concealed in a hat box. Only there's a gun in there and when Blake shoots a picture, the victim Olga Andre falls over shot.

I won't go into any more of this very short B film, but simple forensics which Neal does and the police should as a matter of routine would have cleared Blake. Just where were the CSI technicians when this prominent society woman was shot?

Allen Jenkins is simply Allen Jenkins, the none too bright sidekick on either side of the law in so many Warner Brothers films. But his presence in the movie was a Bob Lippert trademark. In about a third to half of the films at Lippert Studios they had a resident comedian who functions like Jenkins here. No doubt Lippert got the idea to put Sid Melton under contract and he made a few dozen Lippert films always the comic relief on either side of the law. And in some dreadful films just like The Hat Box Mystery.


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