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The Hat Box Mystery (1947)

 -  Short | Crime | Drama  -  12 June 1947 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 49 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 »



(screenplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Hat Box Mystery (1947)

The Hat Box Mystery (1947) on IMDb 5.5/10

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Complete credited cast:
Tom Neal ...
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 | 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

A Bad Movie That's Really Bad!
11 July 2008 | by See all my reviews

There are some films that are enjoyably bad, and some that are just plain bad. This misguided little effort, obviously designed as a pilot for an early TV series, belongs firmly in the latter category. Plumbing the depths of a charmless cast here, we find Virginia Sale as a lovelorn hamburger queen. This role could have been reasonably funny, but Miss Sale makes it just wearisomely pathetic. Allen Jenkins can normally be relied upon for a few good laughs and quiet chuckles—but not in this picture! True, he labors mightily hard to make his unamusing, time-consuming lines sparkle by shouting at the top of his voice, but all in vain. Tom Neal also does his best to ingratiate his character with the audience, but hampered by repetitive, marking-time dialogue and a nonsensical plot, he makes no headway. The same goes for the over-talkative but not over-bright D.A. played by Edward Keane. The only actor who manages to succeed even mildly in his role (as, unintentionally an over-age cop on the beat, who should have received his pension years ago) is Tom Kennedy, and he is stymied by poor make-up (a quality that also afflicts Messrs Neal and Jenkins. Or perhaps their slovenly, unshaven appearance was deliberately contrived to win the hearts of the armchair slobs who would presumably watch their dialogue-bound antics on TV. The villains, by contrast, are all neat as a pin).

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