6.4/10
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9 user 1 critic

Charlie McCarthy, Detective (1939)

Approved | | Comedy | 22 December 1939 (USA)
Scotty Hamilton is a reporter who works for a crooked editor. Bill Banning is another reporter who is about to expose the editor's ties to the mob. When the editor is killed, both reporter ... See full summary »

Director:

Frank Tuttle

Writers:

Edward Eliscu (screenplay), Richard Mack (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Edgar Bergen ... Edgar Bergen
Charlie McCarthy ... Charlie McCarthy
Mortimer Snerd ... Mortimer Snerd
Robert Cummings ... Scotty Hamilton
Constance Moore ... Sheila Stuart
John Sutton ... Bill Banning
Louis Calhern ... Arthur Aldrich
Edgar Kennedy ... Inspector Dailey
Samuel S. Hinds ... Court Aldrich
Harold Huber ... Tony Garcia
Warren Hymer ... Dutch
Ray Turner ... Harrison 'Gravy' Randolph
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Storyline

Scotty Hamilton is a reporter who works for a crooked editor. Bill Banning is another reporter who is about to expose the editor's ties to the mob. When the editor is killed, both reporter Banning and mobster Tony Garcia are suspected. However, Hamilton's friend Edgar Bergen solves the case (without much help from Charlie McCarthy). Written by Richard Nathan <Richard-Nathan@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Christmas Comes Three Days Earlier This Year!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Charlie McCarthy detective See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: It Lives by Night (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

How Was I To Know?
Written by Eddie Cherkose and Jacques Press
Sung by Constance Moore
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User Reviews

 
"I'm Char-lie McCar-thy, detective!"
8 June 2009 | by MaleejandraSee all my reviews

Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy find themselves mixed up in a crime mystery. They perform at a nightclub with Sheila (Constance Moore), a singer whose boyfriend Bill (John Sutton) is hot on the tail of a powerful swindler (Louis Calhern). He is being held in South America for the proof of his accusations, but one-by-one his friends are being killed. It is up to the gang to get Bill back in one piece.

This is really a curiosity piece today; we don't really have anything equivalent in modern society. Candice Bergen said in her book that her father really belonged to the vaudeville stage and was able to extend his career into the radio and TV era. His style of entertainment is an old one, and it is hard for modern audiences to forgive Edgar's lips moving when he does Charlie's voice, or laugh at the corny jokes he tells.

But some people will get it, and they'll love it. Sure Charlie's humor is a bit outdated, but that doesn't make it unfunny, just different. He gets some really great one-liners, especially making fun of his "master," which he was famous for. Mortimer Snerd is my favorite, though, a doofus all over, with a hilarious drowsy face and a voice to match. He pops up randomly throughout the film and provides wonderful breaks from the plot.

Now, this isn't a great movie by anyone's standards. The mystery is dull and the supporting cast members seem like they belong in another movie. Bergen and his pals are the stars, but they just seem to weave in and out of the story without any real reason for being there. But it is enjoyable enough and a great way to SEE Bergen and his famous pals rather than to simply hear them on the radio.


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