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Philo Vance's Secret Mission (1947)

Approved | | Mystery | 30 August 1947 (USA)
Publisher Martin Jamison sends for Philo Vance as he wants to hire him as a technical advisor on the crime stories he publishes. Paul Morgan, Morgan's partner, regards the plan as foolish. ... See full summary »


Reginald Le Borg


Lawrence Taylor (as Lawrence Edmund Taylor)




Complete credited cast:
Alan Curtis ... Philo Vance
Sheila Ryan ... Mona Bannister
Tala Birell ... Mrs. Elizabeth Phillips
Frank Jenks ... Ernie Clark
James Bell ... Sheriff Harry Madison
Frank Fenton ... Paul Morgan
Paul Maxey Paul Maxey ... Martin Jamison
Kenneth Farrell Kenneth Farrell ... Joe, the Photographer
Toni Todd ... Louise Roberts aka Mrs. Paul Morgan


Publisher Martin Jamison sends for Philo Vance as he wants to hire him as a technical advisor on the crime stories he publishes. Paul Morgan, Morgan's partner, regards the plan as foolish. Jamison tells his secretary Mona Bannister to bring Vance to his home that night and he will reveal the solution to the seven-year mystery of the killing of Sam Philips, former partner in the firm. Philips ex-wife, now a receptionist for the company, is alarmed when she overhears. As Vance and Mona drive up, two shots are heard and Jamison's body is later found in the trunk of Vance's car. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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His business is Murder! See more »




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Did You Know?


Of the 3 PRC Vance features,this was the last to be released (August 30, 1947) but the first to be shot (late September-early October 1946). See more »


Follows Night of Mystery (1937) See more »

User Reviews

solid PRC mystery with Alan Curtis as detective Vance
13 April 2004 | by django-1See all my reviews

I like both of Alan Curtis's 1947 PRC films as detective Philo Vance. Curtis has the perfect combination of charm and toughness needed by a 1940's b-movie detective, and I wish he had made more films as Vance. This one involves Vance and his comic sidekick, played by PRC regular Frank Jenks, investigating a missing person presumed dead who was involved with a pulp-crime-fiction publishing company. Like any good murder mystery, there are a number of suspects and people who are not what they seem to be, as well as a local police inspector who is also looking into the case. Vance also has a lovely lady, an employee at the company, whom he befriends and flirts with/argues with for the course of the film. The resolution to the case is unexpected--at least to me it was!--and I would think that most viewers will be led down some false trails along the way, right up until the "The End" card comes on the screen. PRC detective films are often not-too-well written, relying more on atmosphere and clever quips than good story construction and thoughtful placement of clues, but this film holds up to multiple viewings, and once again it needs to be said that Curtis is an excellent detective. The other Alan Curtis-Philo Vance film is fine too, and I'll try to review it in the near future.

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Release Date:

30 August 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Philo Vance, Detective See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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