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Nine Lives Are Not Enough

Nine Lives Are Not Enough(1941)


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After gangster Moxie Karper threatens to sue the Daily Express for libel, Matt Sawyer, the reporter who wrote the story in question, is demoted to riding with a police patrol car. When the car is called to investigate a dead body, Matt and the two policemen, Sergeant Daniels and Officer Slattery, are excited to discover that the body is that of missing millionaire Edward Abbott. Although the dead man's room is locked from the inside and there is a gun lying next to his head, Matt is convinced the man was murdered, because his hands are still in his pockets. Bolstering this conclusion is the fact that the rooming house where the body was found is next door to Karper's house. Matt calls in the scoop and is reinstated in his editor's good graces, but despite his precautions, another reporter, "Snappy" Lucas, follows the coroner into the house. To maintain his exclusive, Matt removes the distributor caps from all the cars and convinces Roy Slocum, the landlady's retarded son, to tie up the phone lines. When Abbott's daughter Jane and his partner, Colonel Andrews, arrive to identify the body, Matt asks them to help prove that he did not commit suicide. Matt grows suspicious of the Abbott chauffeur, Charles, who seems to be very familiar with the Slocum house, and learns that he is an ex-convict. Jane vouches for Charles, however, adding that her father trusted him despite his record. Nonetheless, Slattery searches Charles's apartment and reports that he is clearly living beyond his means. He also finds a telephone number for Rose Chadwick, who claims to have been Abbott's mistress. When the inquest determines that Abbott committed suicide, Matt is fired. He is still convinced that Abbott was murdered, however, and continues his investigation of Charles. Matt, Daniels and Slattery pursue Charles to Rose's, where they find her packed and ready to leave town. After she receives a threatening phone call, she admits that Charles is her husband and that she never met Abbott. Matt and Daniels rush to Charles's house, believing that he is in danger, and discover him dead in a way that suggests suicide. They return to Rose's to find Slattery unconscious in a bedroom and Rose dead, apparently having jumped from a window. Matt is convinced that Karper murdered them all. Finding Roy alone, Matt questions him, and he admits that his mother knows everything. Jane suggests that she, as a woman, is the right person to question Mrs. Slocum, and despite Matt's protests, she goes to the Slocum house. Mrs. Slocum agrees to tell Jane what she knows about the murders, and a man lurking outside the window of the house pulls out a gun, intending to stop her. Slattery, who has been staking out the house, calls Matt and Daniels, and they arrive in time to prevent the murders. The attacker escapes, but Slattery catches him, and he is revealed to be Andrews, who confesses that after he embezzled money to cover his losses in the market, Abbott threatened to expose him. Andrews then shot Abbott through a ventilator after he locked himself in the room. Andrews killed the others in order to cover up Abbott's murder. Andrews escapes, using Jane as a hostage, but is killed in an ensuing shootout. Jane buys the Express and makes her new fiancé, Matt, the managing editor.