The Hat Box Mystery/Hollywood Mystery [DVD]

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Hollywood Mystery
Action expert "Breezy" Eason called the shots on this quickie comedy-melodrama. Frank Albertson stars as the publicity man for a Poverty Row studio. Thrown off the lot because of his drunken insolence, the PR man plans a comeback by convincing a foreign director (John Davidson) to film the life story of a notorious gangster. A stickler for realism, the director insists that a genuine gangster be engaged to play the leading role. The publicity man engages the services of a tough-looking bit player (Jose Crespo), only to discover that he's actually hired the crook whose life is about to be immortalized on celluloid! All ends happily when the PR man's renegade production makes a major star out of his sweetheart (June Clyde). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Hat Box Mystery
In early 1947, Screen Guild Productions experimented with a new format: a 90-minute double feature package, consisting of two simultaneously-filmed 45-minute mysteries. As it turned out, The Hat Box Mystery and The Case of the Baby Sitter were released separately, within two weeks of one another. Both films starred Tom Neal as a private detective named Russ and Pamela Blake as his secretary Susan, both were cowritten by Carl K. Hittelman, and both were directed by the prolific Lambert Hillyer. In Hat Box Mystery, Russ comes to Susan's rescue when she's accused of murdering one of their clients. Per the title, the main clue is a sawed-off shotgun, hidden in a hatbox-a gimmick reportedly inspired by a real-life murder case. Allen Jenkins provides some laughs as a near-illiterate goofball inappropriately named Harvard. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • June Clyde
    June Clyde
  • Frank Albertson
    Frank Albertson
  • Image coming soon
    José Crespo
  • Image coming soon
    John Davidson
  • Image coming soon
    Stanley Price
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