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City of Missing Girls (1941)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 27 March 1941 (USA)
Climaxing a long series of mysterious disappearances of young girls, dancer Thalia Arnold is found murdered. Police-detective Captain McVeigh believes that King Peterson, a nightclub ... See full summary »


Elmer Clifton


Oliver Drake (original screenplay), George Rosener (original screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
H.B. Warner ... Captain McVeigh
Astrid Allwyn ... Nora Page
John Archer ... James Horton
Sarah Padden ... Mrs. Randolph
Philip Van Zandt ... King Peterson
George Rosener ... Officer Dugan
Kathryn Crawford ... Helen Whitney (as Katherine Crawford)
Patricia Knox ... Kate Nelson
Walter Long ... Officer Larkin
Gale Storm ... Mary Phillips (as Gail Storm)
Boyd Irwin Boyd Irwin ... Joseph Thompson
Danny Webb Danny Webb ... William Short


Climaxing a long series of mysterious disappearances of young girls, dancer Thalia Arnold is found murdered. Police-detective Captain McVeigh believes that King Peterson, a nightclub operator and owner of the Crescent School of Fine Arts, knows something about the missing girls. Peterson's silent partner is Joseph Thompson, a theatrical agent, whose daughter, Nora, a reporter, is waging a newspaper crusade against the district attorney's office for failing to trace the girls, much to the discomfiture of James Horton, a young assistant district attorney. Pauline Randolph is the next to disappear but Nora had seen her leaving her grandmother's home in a car driven by a blonde woman. Nora interviews the grandmother who tells her that Pauline had theatrical employment, along with one of her friends, Mary Phillips. When the police begin investigating the Crescent talent-school, Thompson, who knew the Arnold girl intimately, quarrels with Peterson over the school, which, Thompson claims, ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TALENT SCHOOLS' RACKET EXPOSED! (original poster-all caps)


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

27 March 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La città delle donne rapite See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film received its earliest documented telecast Saturday 5 August 1944 on New York City's pioneer television station WNBT (Channel 1). Post-WWII television viewers got their first look at on the East Coast Wednesday 29 December 1948 on WATV (Channel 13) (New York City), and on the West Coast Wednesday 4 May 1949 on KPIX (Channel 5) (San Francisco). See more »


King Peterson: Do you mind if I smoke?
Assistant D.A. James J. Horton: I don't care if you burn.
See more »


Referenced in The Mechanic (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

School of Vice
1 July 2004 | by sol1218See all my reviews

****SPOILERS**** A number of young women have disappeared or have been found murdered in and around town. The one connection being that they all have in common with each other is that they attended or are attending the Crescent School for the Fine Arts.

The local police department as well as the up and coming assistant DA James Horton,John Archer,as well as John's good friend and mentor police Captain McVeigh,H.B. Warner, have been trying with interest to find out who's behind these missing and dead young women. D.A Horton starts to put the heat on the schools owner Joseph Thompson, Boyd Irwin,who's a front-man for the cities top mobster King Peterson, Philip Van Zandt. Thompson has no idea of what the school that he's running is all about, Peterson's prostitution and call-girl racket.

Peterson tries to pay off assistant DA Horton with $10,000.00 to stop his investigation but the incorruptible Horton tells Peterson to take a walk with Capt. McVeigh listening in on the office inter-con. Peterson later comes up with the idea to frame and blackmail Horton in order to get him off his back. Later Tompson panics when it turns up in the newspaper that a student Pauline Randolph in the Crescent School was connected with with one of the murdered girls Thaila Arnold. Thompson wants out of the whole dirty business but Peterson won't let him in fear that Thompson would go to and tell the police in order to save his hide.

Pauleine is later also found murdered and the police now have enough evidence to make a case against the Crescent School and it's owner and administrators, the Peterson mob. Peterson then sets up assistant DA Horton by having one of his girls Kate Nelson,Patrkia Knox, to call him over to her hotel room with information on the Randolph murder.

Having Horton secretly photographed with her in a somewhat intimate pose Kate later gets into a fight with Peterson who kills her. Horton having himself photographed with Kate in her hotel room and later Kate being found murdered in that same room is now in no position to handle the case. He may very well be indited for murdering Kate! Two things then unexpectedly happen that saves the day for Horton and the forces of law and order.

The photographer who took the photo gets scared when he finds Kate's body and is later kidnapped by the Peterson mob only to be rescued by the police and then spills the beans on him, Peterson. Later Thompson's daughter Nora, Astrid Allwyn,who's a newspaper reporter goes undercover in the Crescent School as a student. Nora is recognized by Peterson and in a fit of disgust and outrage goes to call the police on him. the police and assistant DA break into his office and catch him red handed. Peterson is later convicted of murder and sentenced to the electric chair and at last the mystery of the missing and murdered girls is finally solved.

"City of Missing Girls" is a mostly typical crime drama with the exception of touching on a very taboo subject back in those days, the 1940's, in Hollywood: prostitution. It's interesting to see how the film makers avoided to even mention that word even though the movie plot was all about it, prostitution and call-girls, as if that subject and those very words were off-limits by the moral majority of that day which they were.

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