Jim Hanvey, Detective (April 5, 1937)
Released on April 5, 1937: A retired detective country farmer helps a young couple recover a stolen necklace and get out of a murder rap by uncovering the real killer.
Directed by Phil Rosen
Written by Octavus Roy Cohen, Olive Cooper, Cortland Fitzsimmons, Joseph Krumgold and Eric Taylor
The Actors: Guy Kibbee (James Woolford Hanvey), Tom Brown (Don Terry), Lucie Kaye (Joan Frost), Catherine Doucet (Adelaide Frost), Edward Gargan (O.R. Smith), Edward Brophy (Romo), Helen Jerome Eddy (Mrs. Tom Ellis), Theodore von Eltz (Dunn), Kenneth Thomson (W.B. Elwood), Howard C. Hickman (Herbert Frost), Oscar Apfel (Lambert), Wade Boteler (Davis), Robert Emmett Keane (editor), Robert Homans (Sheriff Garrett), Harry Tyler (taxi driver), Frank Darien (Pete), Charles Williams (Brackett), Richard Beach (unknown), William 'Billy' Benedict (copy boy), Lillian Elliott (society woman), Fern Emmett (noisy neighbor), Sam Flint (unknown), Gladys Gale (society woman), June Johnson (June), Dick Rush (policeman)
Alcohol may have been involved . . .
The big name stars from the early days of motion pictures are always fun to watch, but for my money I get a real kick out of the character actors . . . they don't have the rugged good looks and the best lines in most movies, but they always entertain . . . and that is what it is all about. In this movie the biggest Hollywood name would have to be Theodore von Eltz, who rose to star fame as a silent screen heart-throb for the ladies, and continued his long leading man career into the 1950's, but he has a very small part in this adventure. The three actors that dominate the screen are all character actors. Our bumbling but smart detective, Guy Kibbee, is an overweight character actor who started his show business career on a Mississippi river boat, and went on to act in over one hundred movies and television shows. The other two character actors are Edward Gargan, who usually had very small parts as a policeman, and Edward Brophy, who usually played the part of the street wise but book dumb henchman. In this murder mystery they are two henchmen who are trying to become gangsters, but fail horribly as they become attached to our detective and wind up helping him solve the case. What a hoot! This is going to be fun! As our movie opens we meet Jim Hanvey, detective, as he is at his country home hunting, and some big city insurance men are begging him to take a case about a valuable missing necklace. After he refuses them a young couple interrupts his breakfast and confess to the theft. The young man confesses that at a party at the wealthy woman's home he got a bit drunk and stole the necklace on a bet between him and two other fellows. The thing is that after he stole the necklace in his drunken state, someone stole it from him, and now it is really missing, and he will be in a heap of trouble if detective Jim Hanvey doesn't help them find the necklace and return it. Well, long story short, as Guy Kibbee goes back to the city to help the young couple a taxi driver shows up and returns the necklace to the young man - it seems he left it in the cab the night before while he was drunk. Now all he has to do is return the necklace to the safe and all is well . . . and our good hearted detective will help him do that. But then a funny thing happens . . . well . . . not really funny . . . . You see, the young couple is in the library planning to return the necklace to the safe and Guy Kibbee is in the hallway with the owners of the home and the insurance men getting ready to show them that the necklace is back in the safe, a shot rings out and when they rush into the library a man is laying face down on the floor dead as a mackerel with the young boy standing over him, and the necklace is gone. "The Butler Did It" you cry out . . . no, the butler is the fellow lying dead on the floor. Now our adventure really begins . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter on it and enjoy the show.
Edward Gargan and Edward Brophy
Guy Kibbee, Edward Gargan and Edward Brophy
Guy Kibbee and Howard C. Hickman
Guy Kibbee as Jim Hanvey, Detective
Guy Kibbee trying to cook his breakfast
Harry Tyler, cab driver, returns the necklace to the young man
Helen Jerome Eddy in Jim Hanvey, Detective
Movie credit screen for Catharine Doucet, owner of the stolen necklace
Movie credit screen for Edward Gargan and Edward Brophy, the two goons
Movie credit screen for Guy Kibbee, the star of the movie
Movie credit screen for Lucie Kaye
Movie credit screen for Tom Brown
Theodore von Eltz, Kenneth Thomson and Guy Kibbee
Theodore von Eltz as businessman Dunn
Tom Brown, Lucie Kaye and Guy Kibbee
Guy Kibbee, Edward Brophy and Wade Boteler in Jim Hanvey, Detective