18 user 3 critic

Dressed to Kill (1941)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery | 8 August 1941 (USA)
Detective Michael Shayne and his girlfriend Joanne are on their way to be married when a scream from a nearby hotel room draws his attention to a pair of theatrical murders.


Eugene Forde


Stanley Rauh (screen play), Manning O'Connor (screen play) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Lloyd Nolan ... Michael Shayne
Mary Beth Hughes ... Joanne La Marr
Sheila Ryan ... Connie Earle
William Demarest ... Inspector Pierson
Ben Carter ... Sam
Virginia Brissac ... Lynne Evans, alias Emily the Maid
Erwin Kalser Erwin Kalser ... Carlo Ralph, alias Otto Kuhn
Henry Daniell ... Julian Davis (as Henry Daniel)
Dick Rich Dick Rich ... Al -Police Detective
Milton Parsons ... Max Allaron
Charles Arnt ... Hal Brennon
Charles Trowbridge ... David Earle
Hamilton MacFadden ... Reporter
May Beatty ... Phyllis Lathrop
Charles C. Wilson ... Editor (as Charles Wilson)


Detective Michael Shayne and his girlfriend Joanne are on their way to be married when a scream from a nearby hotel room draws his attention to a pair of theatrical murders.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


If you look at the opening credits Henry Daniell's named is misspelled. His last name only has one l in it. It should have 2 l's. See more »


For scenes in Inspector Pierson's office there is a lot of reverberation, particularly when William Demarest shouts his lines. This lack of sound dampening reveals that the scene was shot on a large sound stage. See more »


Inspector Pierson: [Picks up dog's head mask] What's this?
Michael Shayne: Oh, I found that on Lathrop's head. The murderer must have put it there after he shot him.
Inspector Pierson: What did he do that for?
Michael Shayne: Oh, maybe he liked Airedales, I don't know.
Al -Police Detective: I had a dog like that once, it'd eat anything, it was very fond of children.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Mantan Moreland plays Rusty but is credited as playing Sam. Ben Carter plays Sam but is credited with playing Rusty. M.B. Hughes plays a character called JoAnne, but Michael keeps calling her "Joan" and "Joanie". See more »


Follows Michael Shayne: Private Detective (1940) See more »


I've Got You All to Myself
Written by Ralph Rainger and Leo Robin
Sung by Sheila Ryan
See more »

User Reviews

IMDb gets it right; the movie's credits are wrong
26 August 2013 | by Irie212See all my reviews

I sat bolt upright at the end of this movie because it looked as if there was a serious error in the credits. No, I thought, I must be wrong. But I'm not. The movie's streaming on Netflix, so you can see for yourself: 20th Century Fox reversed the names of the two African-American actors who provide some of the brightest points in this bright little movie.

They often entertained as a team, and in this movie Mantan Moreland and Ben Carter play two theater janitors who first appear doing a sweet backstage dance sequence with their brooms while Mary Beth Hughes (too little of her in this movie) sings on-stage but off-screen. I loved it that the filmmakers ignored the girl singer for the greater talents of these two hoofers. Their characters are called Rusty and Sam, with the bigger part going to Rusty, who is played by Moreland, the more famous of the two. But in the final credits, the names are reversed with the roles, crediting Ben Carter as Rusty. Inexcusable. I doubt it ever happened to the Marx Brothers, or even the Ritz Brothers.

Yet IMDb has it right in its Cast and Crew listing. I find that impressive.

The movie's impressive, too-- a B movie with a ridiculously complicated plot with a lot of theatrics, quick-witted dialog, and sure-footed performances by Lloyd Nolan, William Demarest, Henry Daniell, Moreland and Carter, and Mary Beth Hughes-- of whom, as I said, there was far too little screen time. Far too little of her in movies in general, in fact.

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Release Date:

8 August 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dead Take No Bows See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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