23 user 6 critic

Bureau of Missing Persons (1933)

Passed | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 16 September 1933 (USA)
Butch Saunders has been transferred to Missing Persons because he was too brutal in other police work. He regards the assignment as "kindergarten" work. When a young woman asks him to help ... See full summary »


Roy Del Ruth


Robert Presnell Sr. (screen play) (as Robert Presnell), John H. Ayers (story "Missing Men") (as John H. Ayres) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Bette Davis ... Norma Roberts
Lewis Stone ... Capt. Webb (as Lewis S. Stone)
Pat O'Brien ... Butch Saunders
Glenda Farrell ... Belle Saunders
Allen Jenkins ... Joe Musik
Ruth Donnelly ... Pete
Hugh Herbert ... Hank Slade
Alan Dinehart ... Therme Roberts
Marjorie Gateson ... Mrs. Paul
Tad Alexander ... Caesar Paul
Noel Francis ... Alice Crane
Wallis Clark ... Mr. Paul
Adrian Morris Adrian Morris ... Detective Irish Conlin
Clay Clement ... Burton C. Kingman
Henry Kolker ... Theodore Arno


Butch Saunders has been transferred to Missing Persons because he was too brutal in other police work. He regards the assignment as "kindergarten" work. When a young woman asks him to help locate her husband, Therme, he learns that she is really Norma Phillips, wanted by Chicago police for murder of her husband. She escapes, but Saunders borrows a corpse from the morgue to arrange her fake funeral. The trap brings the woman and Therme to the mortuary out of curiosity. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SHAME is responsible for the "amnesia" plague which has swept America! See how cases of lost memory are faked so betrayed girls can face the world again! Learn the truth about runaway wives, "lost" women, vanished men in this blazing drama of the super-sleuths who are smashing the snatch racket! (Print Ad- Philadelphia Inquirer, ((Philadelphia, Penna.)) 27 September 1933) See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


According to a contemporary article in Daily Variety, Warren William was slated to play the lead in this picture. See more »


When Butch goes to Norma's apartment, the music comes on the radio as soon as he touches it - and even before the "click" of the power/volume knob is heard. Radios of the time used vacuum tubes that needed to warm up for a few seconds before sound would come on. See more »


Butch Saunders: I betcha a dollar six bits.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are presented as papers from a file cabinet. A man's hand turns each paper and put's it back in the file. See more »

Alternate Versions

When the movie was re-released in 1936, the credits were revised to list the then-popular Bette Davis first. The re-released version is the one shown on the Turner Classic Movies channel. It is unknown whether other changes were made. See more »


Referenced in Arena: Bette Davis: A Basically Benevolent Volcano (1983) See more »

User Reviews

Never stops moving O'brien and Davis at their best
27 November 2018 | by Nate-48See all my reviews

Pat O'Brien and Bette Davis couldn't have been any better. Instant chemistry between them in this great pre-code film. Very snappy dialogue with the influence of Cagney on O'Brien apparent. Movies like this show you why they instituted a code even though I don't agree with it - you can see how certain parts of the movie could have a bad influence on impressionable people though overall the power of O'Brien and Davis carries this movie to great heights. My only major problem was the ending.

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Release Date:

16 September 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Missing Persons See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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