Girl in the Case


1h 5m 1944

Film Details

Release Date
Apr 20, 1944
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

Annoyed with her lawyer-husband's preoccupation with locks, Myra Warner decides to retaliate by treating herself to a diamond-shopping spree at her local jewelry store. Unknown to Myra, German agent Tommy Rockwood and his accomplices have been following her to gain access to her husband, William, whose ability to pick locks is well-known. At the jewelers, the spies stage an elaborate ruse involving a dog they have trained to act rabid. After Tommy "saves" Myra from the dog and locks her in the vault for safety, he calls William to rescue her while pretending not to know who she is. Once freed by William, Myra thanks Tommy for rescuing her, and he enlists her husband's aid in opening a locked chest. The Warners accompany Tommy to his estate, and as William examines the chest in the basement, two men descend the stairs and at gunpoint, order him to unlock it. At that moment, police detective Malloy, who has been alerted by William, appears and arrests the men. Upon returning home, William tells Myra that Tommy's presence at the jewelry shop was too coincidental and aroused his suspicions. That night, as Myra sleeps, William sneaks out of the house and meets his assistant and protege, Tuffy. The two men proceed to Tommy's estate, and as Tuffy keeps watch, William crawls into the cellar, opens the trunk and finds a sealed envelope containing a chemical compound inside. William removes the formula and after copying it to show to his scientist friend, he returns to Tommy's house the next day, intending to slip the papers back into the trunk. William is greeted at the door by the butler, who claims that the house belongs to John Heyser, the head of a chemical corporation, and denies any knowledge of a Tommy Rockwood. Handing the butler his business card, William departs. As Heyser, hiding inside, examines the card, Tommy appears. Heyser confronts him with the empty envelope from the trunk, and Tommy offers to sell him the formula for $25,000. Upon returning to his office, William receives a call from his scientist friend, identifying the formula as a compound for a powerful explosive. Soon after, Heyser visits William at the office and confides that Tommy is his unscrupulous stepson. When William admits to possessing the missing compound, Heyser claims that it is the formula for synthetic rubber and requests its return. Responding that the formula is at his apartment, William provides Heyser with the address. Later, Heyser's secretary, Sylvia Manners, arrives at the apartment to pick up the envelope. Determined to plant a bankroll in the apartment, Sylvia deliberately runs her stockings and then asks William if she can borrow a pair of his wife's. Alone in the bedroom, Sylvia stuffs the bankroll into the pocket of William's dressing gown and then changes her stockings. Upon returning home from a shopping trip, Myra is furious to see Sylvia strolling out of the apartment wearing her best nylons. Later that night, Myra and William are dressing to go out for dinner when William is summoned to a warehouse fire to open the locked door of a room filled with gasoline drums. Doused by a firehose after opening the door, William goes home to change his clothes. Finding Tommy's body stuffed in a trunk in his living room, William stashes the body on the fire escape. Soon after, Malloy pounds at the door, armed with a warrant from Heyser charging William with extortion. As Malloy and his men search the Warners' apartment for the extortion money, William finds the bankroll in the pocket of his dressing gown. After several attempts at hiding it, he stuffs it into the teapot. When Myra accidentally breaks the pot, Malloy discovers the bankroll and arrests William, then after finding Tommy's body on the fire escape, Malloy adds the charge of murder. Determined to learn why Heyser framed him, William picks the lock on his jail cell and goes to Sylvia's apartment at the Crescent Arms in search of him. Picking the lock, William lets himself in, but when Sylvia and Heyser arrive, he hides on the window ledge, attracting a crowd that thinks he plans to jump. Malloy, driving in his car, receives a radio call, directing him to the Crescent Arms to rescue a man trapped on the ledge. Soon after, Myra and Tuffy arrive at the Crescent Arms and seeing William perched on the ledge, hurry to Sylvia's apartment and haul William in through the window. When Sylvia and Heyser re-enter the room after seeing off several of their comrades, Myra recognizes her stockings and attacks Sylvia. Malloy arrives to break up the ensuing fight, and after arresting Sylvia and Heyser as German spies, he informs William that the police were aware of the lawyer's innocence and would have solved the case earlier if he hadn't interfered. Although he swears never to pick another lock, William loses his resolve when he sees a glamorous woman locked out of her apartment and comes to her aid.

Film Details

Release Date
Apr 20, 1944
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Lew Landers was originally slated to direct this picture. Several reviews metion that the characters in this film were patterned after "Nick and Nora Charles" of The Thin Man series (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.4572).