Nolan's 'keyhole dick' is ludicrously quick with his fists and has an annoying habit of twirling a keychain round his finger, he's also not above faking a murder (with a mickey finn and a bottle of catsup) to frighten the sense back into the headstrong girl (Weaver) he's supposed to be chaperoning. Based on a novel by Brett Halliday, Dividend on Death, this is the first in a series of 12 produced by Fox between 1940 and '47. It's an extremely convoluted betting and horse-swapping mystery, with a mildly diverting subplot featuring an elderly Ellery Queen fan (Patterson) who helps Shayne with this not terribly diverting 'baffle book' case. Nolan is a reliable player, and Bogart's Marlowe may have learned something from him, but he lacks ingrained world-weariness.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Stanley Rauh, Manning O'Connor|