Murder Is My Business


1h 4m 1946

Film Details

Release Date
Apr 10, 1946
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
PRC Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Producers Releasing Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on novel The Uncomplaining Corpses by Brett Halliday (New York, 1940) and his character "Michael Shayne".

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 4m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

After peanut-loving private detective Michael Shayne and his secretary, Phyllis Hamilton, listen to a radio broadcast in which police sergeant Pete Rafferty lambastes private detectives, particularly Mike, for their underworld connections, they join reporter Tim Rourke at the Tally Ho nightclub. There, Duell Renslow, an ex-convict, recognizes Mike's face but cannot recall his name. The following day, wealthy Mrs. Eleanor Ramsey asks for Mike's help. She has received several threatening letters, but for fear of scandal, has not gone to the police, even though she is sure of the letter writer's identity. Eleanor then explains that she is unhappily married, and that Ernst and Dorothy, her husband Arnold's two children from a previous marriage, hate her. One evening she met a man named Carl Meldrum at a party and, longing for affection, yielded to his attentions. After she broke off her relationship with him, he started dating Dorothy, then asked for money to leave the girl alone. When Ramsey learns that his wife has hired a private detective, he asks to speak privately to Mike. Once alone, Ramsey admits that he is having money problems and asks Mike to connect him with someone who will stage a robbery of his wife's jewels, so that he can use the insurance money to save his business. Mike is outraged by the suggestion, and when he arrives at his office, he angrily tells Phyllis about Ramsey's request and is overheard by his friends, Joe and Dora Darnell. Joe, an ex-convict, cannot find a job, and now that Dora is pregnant, hopes that Mike might offer him some work. Joe suggests that he could steal the jewels, but Mike urges him to stay honest. Later, Rafferty summons Mike to the Ramseys' to examine the slain bodies of Eleanor and Joe. Although Ramsey claims to have shot Joe after he killed Eleanor, Mike does not believe that his friend is guilty. He questions Dorothy and Ernst, but both claim to have been away from home all night. While Mike is still at the Ramseys', Meldrum arrives and declares that he was just leaving the house when Ramsey killed Joe. Later, at Meldrum's apartment, Mike intercepts a note from Mona Tabor, a hostess at the Tally Ho, demanding her cut of the Ramsey money. Mike proceeds to Mona's apartment, where Renslow arrives and claims that it was worth a million to Eleanor to get rid of him. Later, Mike learns from Ernst that Renslow is Eleanor's brother and, after he was released from prison, had demanded from her half of the money that she inherited. Meanwhile, Phyllis, who is eager to do some investigating of her own, gets friendly with Meldrum at the Tally Ho. Their conversation is interrupted when Dorothy arrives and picks a fight with Phyllis. Afterward, Meldrum takes Phyllis to Mona's apartment to clean up. When he accidentally discovers that Phyllis is working for Mike, his attitude toward her becomes menacing, and she locks herself in the bedroom. While she is there, Meldrum is shot. Phyllis sneaks out when Renslow arrives a short time later, and he is discovered next to Meldrum's body when the police arrive. The police also find Phyllis' purse at the scene and are waiting when she returns to the office. Mike then gathers all the suspects at Mona's apartment and reveals that Ramsey murdered Joe, Eleanor and Meldrum and framed Joe for Eleanor's murder and Renslow for Meldrum's death.

Film Details

Release Date
Apr 10, 1946
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
PRC Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Producers Releasing Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on novel The Uncomplaining Corpses by Brett Halliday (New York, 1940) and his character "Michael Shayne".

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 4m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film's opening title card reads: "PRC Pictures presents Michael Shayne, Detective in Murder Is My Business. This was the first "Michael Shayne" film produced by PRC. From 1946-47, PRC produced five films based on the Michael Shayne character, all starring Hugh Beaumont. For more information on the "Michael Shayne" series, see entry above for Michael Shayne, Private Detective and consult Series Index.