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The Hat Box Mystery (1947)

Passed | | Short, Action, Comedy | 12 June 1947 (USA)
Susan Hart, assistant to private detective Russ Ashton, is given a camera concealed in a hat box and assigned to take a picture of a woman. A gun is accidentally hidden in the box and the ... See full summary »

Director:

Lambert Hillyer

Writers:

Carl K. Hittleman (screenplay), Don Martin (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tom Neal ... Russ Ashton
Pamela Blake ... Susan Hart
Allen Jenkins ... 'Harvard'
Virginia Sale ... Veronica Hoopler
Leonard Penn ... Stevens
Olga Andre Olga Andre ... Marie Moreland
Tom Kennedy ... Police Officer Murphy
Al Hill ... Flint
Edward Keane ... District Attorney
Zon Murray ... Joe
Bob Nunes Bob Nunes ... Witness
Jack Cheatham ... Policeman
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Storyline

Susan Hart, assistant to private detective Russ Ashton, is given a camera concealed in a hat box and assigned to take a picture of a woman. A gun is accidentally hidden in the box and the woman is killed. Susan is charged with murder, but Russ and his less-than-useful associate, Harvard, get on the case and prove that the fatal shot was fired by the killer from across the street. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Like-a-Jack-in-the-Box----Murder jumped out and claimed its Victim! (original poster)


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 June 1947 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

The credits begin to roll in a normal fashion, with a picture of a hat box in the background. It stops, and Tom Neal is shown in his detective agency; He begins talking about the bills he is holding, then he introduces the other three main characters, who enter and act as if the camera was a real audience, and tell their names in the movie. Then he says, "Here's the rest of our cast," and it reverts back to the regular screen with a hat box in the background. See more »

Connections

Followed by The Case of the Baby Sitter (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

short and flat
2 February 2006 | by vandino1See all my reviews

Obviously this was a programmer made to fill out a double bill in theatres. Robert Lippert, the producer, made a career of it. The film itself features the capable Tom Neal and Allen Jenkins in an otherwise no-name cast. It's a flat-footed mystery with Neal in charge of his low-rent yet financially strapped detective agency (is there EVER a movie featuring a detective agency that actually makes money?) He gets a job investigating a caper that involves killing someone with, yes you guessed it, a hat box (tricked-out with a gun inside). It's such a short film at 44 minutes that it barely qualifies as a feature and, if made a few years later, would have been an episode of a TV mystery show most likely. Aside from an opening gag involving an out-of-work phone that is funny, the only thing of note is the prologue wherein the actors introduce themselves and the characters they are about to play. An odd thing and possibly the only time it's been done on film (there has been end-of-film bits where the actors bow or are presented by a voice over, but I don't know of another where actors come out at the start to announce themselves).


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