Sleepers West (1941)

73-74 mins | Drama | 14 March 1941

Director:

Eugene Forde

Cinematographer:

Peverell Marley

Editor:

Fred Allen

Production Designers:

Richard Day, Lewis H. Creber

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Sleepers East . According to a 7 Oct 1940 LAT news item, Lynn Bari was originally slated to play the role of "Helen Carlson," and Dean Jagger was considered for the male lead. Once Twentieth Century-Fox decided to make the film as part of the "Michael Shayne" series, Lloyd Nolan was cast in the lead, and Bari was cast in the role of "Kay Bentley." According to the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, some scenes in the picture were filmed at the Inglewood, CA train station. According to a HR news item, technical director Frank L. James was a former Los Angeles policeman. Twentieth Century-Fox first filmed Frederick Nebel's novel in 1933 as Sleepers East , which was directed by Kenneth MacKenna and starred Wynne Gibson and Preston Foster (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.4138). For more information about the "Michael Shayne" series, consult the Series Index and see the entry above for Michael Shayne, Private Detective ... More Less

The working title of this film was Sleepers East . According to a 7 Oct 1940 LAT news item, Lynn Bari was originally slated to play the role of "Helen Carlson," and Dean Jagger was considered for the male lead. Once Twentieth Century-Fox decided to make the film as part of the "Michael Shayne" series, Lloyd Nolan was cast in the lead, and Bari was cast in the role of "Kay Bentley." According to the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, some scenes in the picture were filmed at the Inglewood, CA train station. According to a HR news item, technical director Frank L. James was a former Los Angeles policeman. Twentieth Century-Fox first filmed Frederick Nebel's novel in 1933 as Sleepers East , which was directed by Kenneth MacKenna and starred Wynne Gibson and Preston Foster (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.4138). For more information about the "Michael Shayne" series, consult the Series Index and see the entry above for Michael Shayne, Private Detective . More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
22 Mar 1941.
---
Daily Variety
14 Sep 1941.
---
Film Daily
25 Mar 41
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Oct 40
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Oct 40
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Nov 40
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Nov 40
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Nov 40
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Dec 40
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Dec 40
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Mar 41
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
7 Oct 1940.
---
Motion Picture Herald
22 Mar 1941.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 Feb 41
p. 54.
New York Times
20 Mar 41
p. 25.
Variety
19 Mar 41
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech dir
Prod mgr
Pub dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Sleepers East by Frederick Nebel (Boston, 1933) and the character "Michael Shayne" created by Brett Halliday.
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
14 March 1941
Production Date:
late November--mid December 1940
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
14 March 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10348
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
73-74
Length(in feet):
6,500 , 6,642
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
6977
SYNOPSIS

As he waits in the Denver train station for the Comanche , which is bound for San Francisco, private detective Michael Shayne meets his old girl friend, reporter Kay Bentley. Shayne assures Kay that he is on an unimportant case, but actually he is escorting Helen Carlson, who is to be a surprise witness in a murder trial. After Shayne makes sure that Helen is safely aboard the train, he bumps into Kay again, and she introduces him to her fiancé, Tom Linscott. Tom is a lawyer with Wentworth Enterprises, and his boss, Caleb Wentworth, is running for governor of California. Shayne comments that Tom will most likely be made lieutenant governor if Wentworth wins, then feigns disinterest as Kay and Tom discuss a newspaper article about the impending murder trial. On the train is Callahan, a former thief whom Shayne arrested once, but who has since gone straight. The paper notes that the trial has been postponed until the arrival of a witness who can clear Callahan and expose political corruption surrounding the case. Soon after, Tom confers with Wentworth's private detective, Carl Izzard, who tells him that Shayne is hiding the witness, and that all of their careers will be destroyed if she testifies. Meanwhile, engineer McGowan drives the train dangerously fast so that he will not be late for his last run, and Helen talks a newly boarded passenger into bringing a drink to her cabin. The man is Everett Jason, a dry goods store owner who has left his overbearing wife and secure life in search of adventure in South America. While Tom tells Kay that ... +


As he waits in the Denver train station for the Comanche , which is bound for San Francisco, private detective Michael Shayne meets his old girl friend, reporter Kay Bentley. Shayne assures Kay that he is on an unimportant case, but actually he is escorting Helen Carlson, who is to be a surprise witness in a murder trial. After Shayne makes sure that Helen is safely aboard the train, he bumps into Kay again, and she introduces him to her fiancé, Tom Linscott. Tom is a lawyer with Wentworth Enterprises, and his boss, Caleb Wentworth, is running for governor of California. Shayne comments that Tom will most likely be made lieutenant governor if Wentworth wins, then feigns disinterest as Kay and Tom discuss a newspaper article about the impending murder trial. On the train is Callahan, a former thief whom Shayne arrested once, but who has since gone straight. The paper notes that the trial has been postponed until the arrival of a witness who can clear Callahan and expose political corruption surrounding the case. Soon after, Tom confers with Wentworth's private detective, Carl Izzard, who tells him that Shayne is hiding the witness, and that all of their careers will be destroyed if she testifies. Meanwhile, engineer McGowan drives the train dangerously fast so that he will not be late for his last run, and Helen talks a newly boarded passenger into bringing a drink to her cabin. The man is Everett Jason, a dry goods store owner who has left his overbearing wife and secure life in search of adventure in South America. While Tom tells Kay that Shayne is escorting the witness, Helen confesses her story to Everett. Helen reveals that after serving a year in jail on a trumped-up charge, she was out one night with Wentworth's son when he killed a nightclub owner. Wentworth threatened to revoke Helen's parole and send her back to jail if she testified against his son, and so she disappeared to Denver. After Callahan was framed, however, Helen was found by Shayne, who also threatened to tell the parole board of her whereabouts if she did not return to testify. Everett vows to help her, and the pair decide to run away to South America together. Meanwhile, the $10,000 that Everett has brought with him has been discovered by a porter, who exaggerates the amount until the railroad detective, George Trautwein, becomes convinced that an embezzler is aboard. As Trautwein searches for his criminal, Kay tries unsuccessfully to get Shayne to reveal Helen's location. Shayne is also threatened by Izzard, but before Izzard can use the gun he pulls, the train hits a truck and is derailed. When Everett tries to get help for the unconscious Helen, Kay finds her and after reviving her, pumps her for information. Kay promises to help Everett and Helen escape, then breaks her engagement to Tom, who she realizes has been using her to find Helen. Kay engineers Shayne's arrest, then escapes with Helen and Everett. After Trautwein shoots and wounds Izzard, who he thinks is the embezzler, Shayne escapes and follows Kay and the others to the farmhouse they stop at when their hired car breaks down. After Shayne proves that Kay was interested in helping them merely to get their story, Helen and Everett decide to face up to their responsibilites. Everett returns to his home, while Helen testifies and clears Callahan. Soon after the trial, Shayne takes Kay to a diner where he has gotten Helen a waitressing job. Impressed with Shayne's thoughtfulness, Kay agrees to stay in San Francisco and marry him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.