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The Lady in the Morgue (1938)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Mystery | 22 April 1938 (USA)
A detective investigates the disappearance of a girl's body from the city morgue.


Otis Garrett


Jonathan Latimer (novel), Eric Taylor (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Preston Foster ... Det. Bill Crane
Patricia Ellis ... Kathryn Courtland aka Mrs. Sam Taylor
Frank Jenks ... Doc Williams
Thomas E. Jackson ... Strom (as Thomas Jackson)
Bill Elliott ... Chauncey Courtland (as Gordon Elliott)
Roland Drew ... Sam Taylor
Barbara Pepper ... Kay Renshaw
Joe Downing Joe Downing ... Steve Collins (as Joseph Downing)
Archie Robbins ... Frankie French (as James Robbins)
Al Hill ... Spitzy
Morgan Wallace ... Layman
Brian Burke Brian Burke ... Johnson
Donald Kerr Donald Kerr ... Greening
Don Brodie Don Brodie ... Taxi Driver
Rollo Lloyd ... Coroner


Believing that the body of Alice Ross, found hanging in a disreputable hotel and pronounced as suicide by Police Lieutenant Strom (Thomas E. Jackson) and Police Inspector Layman (Morgan Wallace) might be that of wealthy Kathryn Crawford (Parricia Ellis), private detective Bill Crane (Preston Foster) and his assistant "Doc" Williams (Farnk Jenks) hurry to the scene, Shortly after their arrival, the body disappears and the morgue keeper is found killed, Strom and Layman suspect that Crane had something to do with both incidents. Before Crane gets the case unraveled, he gets knocked in the head with a bottle by a pretty blonde, arouses the ire of a jealous band leader, Sam Tayolr (Roland Drew), and traces the missing body to a cemetery and returns it to the morgue. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PROBING FOR MURDER SECRETS!...Detective Bill Crane...the Kidding Sleuth again...busting another mystery wide open! See more »


Action | Crime | Mystery


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 April 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aventura Cavalheiresca See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


A Crime Club Mystery. See more »


Follows The Westland Case (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

Mach 1 Mystery
26 February 2013 | by GManfredSee all my reviews

That's how fast the movie unfolds. I think I followed the plot well enough to understand what happened, but I'm not sure. As near as I can tell, there was one unresolved murder, but it didn't affect the story one way or the other. It was also never explained how Preston Foster could be a suspect in one of the murders - he was a detective trying to solve it, after all. I guess it was to inject some humor and make the Police Dept. look comical. Never understood why 30's movie audiences bought the premise of mixing comedy into murder mysteries. To me they're like oil and water.

There are lots of unexplained bits of trivia, coincidences and non-sequiturs, too many to mention here, but that kind of thing devalues the storyline and serves only to break the viewers concentration - and with this picture one needs all of one's concentration. The cast was serviceable, especially Preston Foster as the hero, and it was fun to see Bill Elliott before he became a cowboy star. But the break-neck pace makes me think I should see it again, to catch what I missed the first time - so my rating is a holding grade. I'll get back to you.

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