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The Hat Box Mystery (1947)

Approved  |   |  Short, Comedy, Crime  |  12 June 1947 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 54 users  
Reviews: 10 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 »



(screenplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Russ Ashton
Pamela Blake ...
Susan Hart
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 ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | See All (1) »


Short | Comedy | Crime | Drama






Release Date:

12 June 1947 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

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 »


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

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User Reviews

Almost certainly a TV pilot
29 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

We think of television as beginning in the '50s, but that's simply not true.

This probably played in theaters as filler, but it is almost certainly a pilot for early television. There is no way else to explain the opening wherein the male lead introduces his supporting cast.

There are a number of pilots for unsold TV series still available, including a Sherlock Holmes pilot from the same era. There was even a brief series shot on film along similar lines (I think it was Boston Blackie). In any event, the interesting thing here is that some studios thought they could produce television shows the way they had produced theatrical B-movies. Of course, the broadcast network owners knew better (they knew that TV audiences had a lower "lowest common denominator" than film, and that less money could be spent accordingly).

AS a TV pilot, this is actually not so bad - cheap, quick with an interesting twist at the end. The actors are certainly trying their best, and - for television - it is more than competently made.

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