Charlie McCarthy, Detective


1h 17m 1939

Brief Synopsis

Scotty Hamilton is a reporter who works for a crooked editor. Bill Banning is another reporter who is about to expose the editor's ties to the mob. When the editor is killed, both reporter Banning and mobster Tony Garcia are suspected. However, Hamilton's friend Edgar Bergen solves the case (without much help from Charlie McCarthy).

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 22, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

Reporter Bill Banning and his pal, Joe Felton, are compiling evidence that links magazine publisher Arthur Aldrich to racketeer Tony Garcia when they are framed by Aldrich and jailed in Central America. Joe manages to escape and travels to New York, where he turns to Bill's fiancée, singer Sheila Stuart, and fellow writer Scotty Hamilton for help in freeing Bill. Before he can testify to the police, however, Joe is murdered and the authorities refuse to accept Scotty's story. Soon after, Bill escapes and decides to pay a visit to Aldrich. Learning of Bill's freedom, Aldrich summons Garcia to eliminate the reporter, and they all converge upon the Aldrich estate on the night of a big party. As Bill breaks into the house to confront Aldrich, Garcia stalks him. Two gun shots bring the assembled guests to Aldrich's room, where they find Aldrich's dead body. Inspector Dailey of the police department is then summoned, and as he questions the partygoers about the night's events, suspicion points to Bill. Party guests ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy, Charlie McCarthy, decide to undertake their own investigation while Garcia orders his gang to kidnap Bill and Sheila and bring them to the Club Gardenia. Edgar's hunch also leads him and Scotty to the Club Gardenia, where their appearance disrupts Garcia's plans, allowing Sheila and Bill to escape. As Garcia's men pursue the intruders through the bowels of the club, Edgar discovers a police officer who had been imprisoned by the gang, and sends him for reinforcements. While a fistfight rages in the club's basement, Edgar calmly pieces together the clues and deduces that Garcia's bullet missed Aldrich and that Scotty is the murderer. Overwhelmed by his guilt, Scotty confesses that he felt powerless against Aldrich's corruption and took the law into his own hands. When the police arrive to arrest Garcia for Joe's murder, Scotty confesses to Aldrich's murder, thus freeing Bill of all suspicion.

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 22, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter, story writer Robertson White was borrowed from Warner Bros. and assigned to write the screenplay for this picture. On screen, however, he is only credited with original story.