Anne Brooks is being blackmailed by her old dancing partner Maurice. They married when she was young but broke up after which he said he was getting a quickie divorce. Anne married the much... See full summary »
A beautiful showgirl, nicknamed 'the Canary', is a scheming nightclub singer. Blackmailing is her game and soon ends up dead. But who killed 'the Canary'. All the suspects who knew her had ... See full summary »
Though the film is called "Private Detective 62," neither William Powell's character nor anyone else is actually referred to by that code number. See more »
The credits list Ruth Donnelly as Amy Moran, and Dan Hogan introduces her to Donald Free as Amy Moran. But near the end of the film, the Process Server (Charles Lane) approaches and asks, "Your name Amy Potts?" And she answers, "Yeah." See more »
It takes a whole crew to wreck a house, but boy, how one many can wreck a home.
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Once again, the Turner Classic Movies network scores a touchdown for hard-core fans of William Powell !! This film is a depression-era gem and because it features Powell as a good guy who's not above conniving, it works beautifully.
The subtext of the movie -- the ritzy society dame who has an amazing knack for winning at roulette -- fully supports the context, which is what does a smart gentleman do when he's down on his luck ? In this film, Powell acts the part with panache and enthusiasm. He's not too good to take on the kind of almost-X-rated detective work that made "private eyes" synonymous with cads and bounders ....
But his character draws the line at fleecing the society diva played by Margaret Lindsay. In some ways this entertaining "detective fiction" steps way outside the usual social norms, and for that alone it gets a seven out of ten. Powell is amazingly charming in this film, and given the context of his employment, it is a bit of a fantasy scenario.
Like some other films of this specific time period, the fictional treatment of "New York swells" who gamble and win or lose what were then truly fabulous sums of money, was surely part of the appeal to the aforementioned "fantasy." People who were lucky to gross $ 2000 in a year's time, in that time, would have been, perhaps, a bit scandalized by seeing a privileged social butterfly knocking down the "house" for $ 50,000 at the roulette table !! But it made the otherwise fantastic notions of the film ever-so-much more believable.
Powell really sparkles in this movie. He's so very suave and urbane and yet just a little bit of bitterness comes through in the way he uses the dialog his character is given. Almost every time I have seen the whole of a Powell performance from this era, I come away somewhat astounded at the fluid nature of his talent.
"My Man Godfrey" remains my favorite film, of course, in the Powell repertoire but this detective story is both quirky and fantastic and ultimately believable just because Powell carries it all the way through. And yea, the final sequence where he's sprinting up stairs to embrace the lovely socialite -- who proposed marriage to him !! -- is very clever and pleasing. This is a great Powell vehicle and to see it without commercials on TCM was a real pleasure.
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