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The Mysterious Mr. Valentine (1946)

Janet Spencer (Linda Stirling) has a blow-out and walks into the Armstrong Chemical Company to ask John Armstrong (Tristram Coffin for help, thus arousing the jealousy of Armstrong's wife, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
...
Lola Carson
Thomas E. Jackson ...
Police Lt. Milo Jones (as Thomas Jackson)
Barbara Woodell ...
Rita Armstrong
...
Sam Priestly
Virginia Brissac ...
Martha
Lyle Latell ...
Peter Musso
...
Frank Gary
...
John Armstrong
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County Coroner
...
Doctor
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Storyline

Janet Spencer (Linda Stirling) has a blow-out and walks into the Armstrong Chemical Company to ask John Armstrong (Tristram Coffin for help, thus arousing the jealousy of Armstrong's wife, Rita (Barbara Woodell. Her own car now missing, Janet drives away in Rita's car, and almost collides with a second car. When she stops she is accused of hitting and killing a man---Ralph Doane, Armstrong's senior partner. Two me offer to take Doane's body to a hospital. Janet meets Steve Morgan (William Henry), a private detective who offers to help her. Steve goes to Sam Priestly (Kenne Duncan), the insurance man for the Doane-Armstrong company. He informs Steve the money has already been pair to Armstrong and throws him out. He visits Rita, who offers him cash if he can find her husband;s girl friend, and he trails Armstrong to the apartment of Lola Carson (Virginia Christine)and later learns that Rita has been arrested for the murder of her husband. At night, Steve and Janet drive to the ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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THE PAY-OFF WAS MURDER!(original poster-all caps) See more »


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Approved | See all certifications »
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3 September 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chantagista Misterioso  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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1.37 : 1
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Noir-influenced Republic programmer can't live up to its terrific opening
11 November 2002 | by See all my reviews

The Mysterious Mr. Valentine packs a whole truckload of plot into its first few minutes. A sudden blowout forces a young woman (Linda Stirling) off a deserted road late at night; a tumbledown factory nearby holds the only prospect for help. A chemist inside seems distracted, even nervous, as well he might, since a body that was lying in the back laboratory amid the flasks and retorts has up and vanished. Nonetheless, he produces a bottle (of hooch) to offer Stirling a hospitable drink. Suddenly, as they toast, the door bursts open and a flashbulb goes off; the chemist's wife, it seems, has her suspicions. Scared witless, Stirling bolts outside and tears off in the nearest car, only to run a man down. But we know something that she does not: It's the corpse that was in the back room....

Too bad the rest of the movie, a Republic crime programmer, doesn't live up to its breakneck opening. It looks surprisingly good, though, with a noirish fondness for crisp, intricate shadows. The story involves a brash, smart-mouthed private eye (William Henry) who tries to help Stirling locate the `Mr. Valentine' who's blackmailing her about the hit-and-run with a series of unsettling phone calls. The clean cinematography, unfortunately, belies a muddy plot, with more characters and subplots than its brevity can accommodate. It still generates a passing amount of fun and suspense, and stands as an example of how the light mystery programmers so popular in the late1930s came to take on the more freighted style of the late 1940s.


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