17 user 4 critic

Sky Murder (1940)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Mystery | 27 September 1940 (USA)
A body is found in a locked airplane compartment and a German female refugee is a suspect. Passenger detective Nick Carter is convinced she didn't do it and works to solve the mysterious murder.


George B. Seitz


William R. Lipman (original screen play)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Pidgeon ... Nick Carter
Donald Meek ... Bartholomew
Kaaren Verne ... Pat Evans (as Karen Verne)
Edward Ashley ... Cortland Grand
Joyce Compton ... Christine Cross
Tom Conway ... Andrew Hendon
George Lessey ... Sen. Monrose
Dorothy Tree ... Kathe
Frank Reicher ... Dr. Crattan
Chill Wills ... Sheriff Beckwith
George Watts George Watts ... Judge Whitmore
Byron Foulger ... Kuse
William Tannen ... Gus
Milton Parsons ... Brock
Tom Neal ... Steve - Pilot


Pat Evans is a German expatriate who is loyal to her new adopted home, the United States. A shadowy German bund operating in the Long Island area tries to recruit as the sophisticated but lecherous Andrew Hendon tries to physically coerce her into joining. While she is flying in the private plane of Cortland Grand, a rich friend of Nick Carter's, she knocks Hendon unconscious in self defense, but leaves him alive in a rear compartment of the plane. When the steward discovers the body, he finds Herndon stabbed in the throat by a nail file. Before the trip is over, the co-pilot is also stabbed to death. Luckily for Pat, one of the passengers on Grand's plane is famed New York detective Nick Carter. Although he is off-duty, the resourceful sleuth along with Beeswax, his bizarre sidekick, and beautiful Southern Chris Cross, a female gumshoe, breaks up a secret cell of Nazi saboteurs and FIfth Columnists. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Nick Carter Tackles His Toughest Case as Murder Rides the Air Lanes. See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film was first telecast in Los Angeles Thursday 21 March 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), followed by Chicago 19 April 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), by Altoona PA 3 May 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), by Amarillo 29 July 1957 on KFDA (Channel 19), by Tucson 28 August 1957 on KVOA (Channel 4), by Philadelphia 2 September 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), by Spokane 10 October 1957 on KHQ (Channel 6), and by San Francisco 19 February 1958 on KGO (Channel 7); in Seattle, its earliest documented airing took place 16 January 1959 on KING (Channel 5), and in New York City 14 August 1960 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »


Nick Carter's sidekick Bartholomew enters with a gun drawn, a Colt automatic, but the next cut shows him holding a revolver. This continues until the car chase scene where he regains the automatic. See more »


Christine Cross: I know this clue had something to do with cake, and cake has something to do with what I was supposed to do. What goes with cake?
Bartholomew: Ice cream.
Christine Cross: No, too cold.
Bartholomew: Tea.
Christine Cross: No, that's too hot.
Bartholomew: Iced tea!
See more »

Crazy Credits

No screen credit is given to Ormond G. Smith and John R. Coryell, who created the character of Nick Carter for pulp magazines. See more »


Follows Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939) See more »

User Reviews

Fifth Column
24 December 2006 | by tedgSee all my reviews

This is yet another experiment in the all important detective genre — before the genre settled into the few riverbeds we work with today. The experiment failed, which is why you don't find this celebrated. Its actually a very bad entertainment. Very bad indeed and after this Nick Carter would end.

Its only interesting if you study how the notion of film detection and noir evolved, and what branches died out... or if you are interested in how national identity is defined in film (or reflected if you are a gnostic).

This one tries to punch up the franchise with pretty girls, six of them who are apparently prostitutes though the relationship is so softpeddled, they are mentioned as "dancers." They are protected by a dumb blond who is so dumb it defies even movie logic.

One of these is a German girl who is reluctantly recruited into a German conspiracy against the US, a "fifth column." When she is condemned in front of members of the "cell," one decent man gets up to protest that he joined to make the world better. He is immediately beset by thugs and beaten to death. There is mention of concentration camps. The US hadn't yet entered the war, but it was ready.

There's a mystery of sorts here, how someone is stabbed in a sealed cabin on an airplane. But it is so contrived, so needlessly elaborate its funny, like the genteel whores that subliminally stand for American values.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

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Release Date:

27 September 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sky Murder - A New Nick Carter Adventure See more »


Box Office


$212,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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