Super-Sleuth (1937)

65 or 75 mins | Comedy, Mystery | 16 July 1937

Director:

Benjamin Stoloff

Producer:

Edward Small

Cinematographer:

Joseph August

Production Designer:

Van Nest Polglase

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
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HISTORY

Although the onscreen credits state that the screenplay was "from the play by Harry Segall," other contemporary sources indicate that Segall's story was a screen original. MPH 's "In the Cutting Room" lists Frank M. Thomas in the cast, but his participation in the final film has not been ... More Less

Although the onscreen credits state that the screenplay was "from the play by Harry Segall," other contemporary sources indicate that Segall's story was a screen original. MPH 's "In the Cutting Room" lists Frank M. Thomas in the cast, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
10 Jul 37
p. 3.
Film Daily
13 Jul 37
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Apr 37
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
24 May 37
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 37
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
22 May 37
p. 44, 49
Motion Picture Herald
17 Jul 37
p. 46.
MPSI
1 Jul 37
p. 23.
New York Times
17 Jul 37
p. 18.
Variety
14 Jul 37
p. 20.
DETAILS
Release Date:
16 July 1937
Production Date:
28 April--late May 1937
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
Copyright Date:
16 July 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7429
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
65 or 75
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3363
SYNOPSIS

When popular, egotistical movie detective Willard "Bill" Martin states publicly that he could do a better job of solving murder cases than the Los Angeles police force, he aggravates not only the police, but Mary Strand, the head of his studio's publicity department, as well. Bill's screen "super sleuth" persona suddenly takes on reality when he receives a death threat from the "Poison Pen," an at-large celebrity killer who wants to murder Bill in retaliation for his last bad movie. After being shot at through the window of a Hollywood nightclub, a cocky, determined Bill goes with Mary, who secretly loves the dumb star, to see amateur criminologist and house-of-horrors owner Professor Herman, not realizing that Herman is, in fact, the Poison Pen. The next day, Herman shows up at Bill's movie shoot and, during a chase scene, accidentally kills Bill's co-star, Ralph Waring. Because Waring had fought earlier with his stand-in, Larry Frank, Larry is arrested for the crime. Convinced of Larry's innocence, Bill continues his confused efforts to find the Poison Pen, while Herman continues his poorly aimed murder attempts on Bill. Finally, Mary, to protect Bill from himself, tricks him into getting arrested and jailed. Bill "outsmarts" her, however, by calling Herman to bail him out. When Mary deduces that Herman is the Poison Pen, she and Warts, Bill's servant, notify the police and rush to Herman's "Crime Doesn't Pay" horror gallery, where, aided by Herman's clumsiness, they rescue Bill and catch the Poison ... +


When popular, egotistical movie detective Willard "Bill" Martin states publicly that he could do a better job of solving murder cases than the Los Angeles police force, he aggravates not only the police, but Mary Strand, the head of his studio's publicity department, as well. Bill's screen "super sleuth" persona suddenly takes on reality when he receives a death threat from the "Poison Pen," an at-large celebrity killer who wants to murder Bill in retaliation for his last bad movie. After being shot at through the window of a Hollywood nightclub, a cocky, determined Bill goes with Mary, who secretly loves the dumb star, to see amateur criminologist and house-of-horrors owner Professor Herman, not realizing that Herman is, in fact, the Poison Pen. The next day, Herman shows up at Bill's movie shoot and, during a chase scene, accidentally kills Bill's co-star, Ralph Waring. Because Waring had fought earlier with his stand-in, Larry Frank, Larry is arrested for the crime. Convinced of Larry's innocence, Bill continues his confused efforts to find the Poison Pen, while Herman continues his poorly aimed murder attempts on Bill. Finally, Mary, to protect Bill from himself, tricks him into getting arrested and jailed. Bill "outsmarts" her, however, by calling Herman to bail him out. When Mary deduces that Herman is the Poison Pen, she and Warts, Bill's servant, notify the police and rush to Herman's "Crime Doesn't Pay" horror gallery, where, aided by Herman's clumsiness, they rescue Bill and catch the Poison Pen. +

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.