Publisher Martin Jamison sends for Philo Vance as he wants to hire him as a technical advisor on the crime stories he publishes. Paul Morgan, Morgan's partner, regards the plan as foolish. ...
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Edgar G. Ulmer,
Giuseppe Maria Scotese
At the end of each year, the extremely wealthy but odious Greene family gets together at the spooky old family castle to establish terms of a will, though they despise each other. This year... See full summary »
Publisher Martin Jamison sends for Philo Vance as he wants to hire him as a technical advisor on the crime stories he publishes. Paul Morgan, Morgan's partner, regards the plan as foolish. Jamison tells his secretary Mona Bannister to bring Vance to his home that night and he will reveal the solution to the seven-year mystery of the killing of Sam Philips, former partner in the firm. Philips ex-wife, now a receptionist for the company, is alarmed when she overhears. As Vance and Mona drive up, two shots are heard and Jamison's body is later found in the trunk of Vance's car. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
solid PRC mystery with Alan Curtis as detective Vance
I like both of Alan Curtis's 1947 PRC films as detective Philo Vance. Curtis has the perfect combination of charm and toughness needed by a 1940's b-movie detective, and I wish he had made more films as Vance. This one involves Vance and his comic sidekick, played by PRC regular Frank Jenks, investigating a missing person presumed dead who was involved with a pulp-crime-fiction publishing company. Like any good murder mystery, there are a number of suspects and people who are not what they seem to be, as well as a local police inspector who is also looking into the case. Vance also has a lovely lady, an employee at the company, whom he befriends and flirts with/argues with for the course of the film. The resolution to the case is unexpected--at least to me it was!--and I would think that most viewers will be led down some false trails along the way, right up until the "The End" card comes on the screen. PRC detective films are often not-too-well written, relying more on atmosphere and clever quips than good story construction and thoughtful placement of clues, but this film holds up to multiple viewings, and once again it needs to be said that Curtis is an excellent detective. The other Alan Curtis-Philo Vance film is fine too, and I'll try to review it in the near future.
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