Slightly Honorable (January 22, 1940)
Released on January 22, 1940: A wonderful film noir murder mystery with enough comic relief to make it the perfect rainy day entertainment.
Directed by Tay Garnett
Written by Ken Englund, John Hunter Lay and Robert Tallman from a novel by F.G. Presnell titled, "Send Another Coffin".
The Actors: Pat O'Brien (John Webb), Edward Arnold (Vincent Cushing), Broderick Crawford (Russ Sampson), Eve Arden( Miss Ater), Ruth Terry (nightclub singer), Alan Dinehart (District Attorney Joyce), Claire Dodd (Alma Brehmer), Phyllis Brooks (Sarilla Cushing), Douglass Dumbrille (George Taylor), Bernard Nedell (Pete Godena), Douglas Fowley (Madder), Ernest Truex (P. Hemingway Collins), Janet Beecher (Mrs. Cushing), Evelyn Keyes (Miss Vlissingen), John Sheehan (Mike Daley), Addison Richards (Inspector Fromm), Cliff Clark (Captain Graves), Jack Green (detective), Dale Armstrong (radio announcer), Art Baker (radio announcer), Muriel Barr (girl on Counch), Jack Baxley (detective with Godeana), Willis Best (Art the elevator operator), Wheaton Chambers (guest), Eddy Chandler (O'Leary the cop), Irene Coleman (Curvy Brunette), Frank Dae (President of the Senate), Pat Davis (newspaper reporter), John Deering (radio announcer), Charles K. French (pallbearer), Tay Garnett (reporter), Howard C. Hickman (Senator Scott), Al Hill Jr. (newsboy), Al Hill (bartender), Bud Jamison (Humboldt the cop), Marjorie Kane (telephone operator), Richard Keene (the fingerprint man), George Magrill (reporter), Barnard Matis (delivery boy), Paul McVey (policeman), Robert Middlemass (Senator Berry), Gerald Pierce (delivery boy), Victor Potel (proprietor), Max Rose (fingerprint expert), Dick Rush (detective), Arthur Shank (radio announcer), Irving Wickes (photographer), Zack Williams (black preacher), Jack Winn (surveyor).
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There is no better movie from the Golden Age of Movies than a good film noir murder movie with a good amount of comic relief. This is the perfect noir detective murder mystery, filled with stars of the day. Pat O'Brien plays prominent attorney John Webb. Broderick Crawford is his partner, and Eve Arden is his secretary.
Seems that there is corruption in the city, and when the designer of a new highway is murdered, Webb figures it is the wealthy contractor Vincent Cushing (Edward Arnold). While on the phone, someone tosses a knife with a warning note attached to it through Webb's window. A bit later this knife turns up in the back of the daughter of the murdered highway designer, and Webb is a major suspect. This knife turns up several more times in the bodies of the next victims, all pointing to our hero Webb. But you won't be chewing your knuckles over the suspense, because there is a dizzy girl that keeps showing up next to Webb, and hardly a minute passes without a smart-ass comment weaved into the dialogue. All in all, a great noir mystery that you will want to watch several times. This one's a keeper.