No Hands on the Clock
Cast & Crew
Private detective Humphrey Campbell marries Louise, after locating her for her father. Later, Humphrey's boss, Oscar Flack, who runs the Flack Missing Persons Bureau, tracks them down in Reno, where they are on their honeymoon. Using the promise of a fur coat as bait, Oscar enlists Louise's aid in persuading Humphrey to help him find Hal Benedict, the son of wealthy Nevada rancher Warren Benedict. When Humphrey and Oscar meet with Benedict at the ranch owned by his widowed friend, Mrs. Marion West, they learn that FBI agents are also looking for Hal, who disappeared two weeks earlier from the Truckee River Hotel. They also meet Benedict's ward, Rose Madden, who was engaged to marry Hal. After Oscar locks Louise in the Truckee River Hotel bathroom to prevent her from meddling, Humphrey learns from piano player Dave Paulson that Hal spent time with a redhead named Irene Donovan. Meanwhile, the bellman releases Louise from the bathroom, and she sees Humphrey leaving with voluptuous blonde Gypsy Toland, who has offered to drive him to Irene's house. Outside, Humphrey leaves Gypsy behind and arrives alone at the house, where he discovers Irene's dead body, with a silver dollar clutched in her hand. Rose is hiding in the house, and after she and Humphrey elude the police, Rose insists that Irene was already dead when she arrived. The next day, Humphrey makes up with Louise and joins with local investigator Clyde Copley, whom Hal had hired to retrieve letters from Irene after she threatened to blackmail him if he married Rose. Humphrey notices that Copley's office overlooks the Darwin Mortuary, which has a trademark featuring a clock with no hands and the phrase, "death is timeless." Although Humphrey and Louise are suspects in Irene's murder, Humphrey arranges an alibi and continues his investigation. While driving to see Benedict, Humphrey and Louise are shot at by bank robbers Red Harris, Alex and Jake, whom they previously witnessed robbing a bank. After exchanging gunfire with Humphrey, the robbers drive off, and Humphrey remembers that the silver dollar is Red's trademark. Benedict then receives a ransom note demanding $50,000, to be delivered by his ranch foreman, Harry Belding, in exchange for Hal. Later, Humphrey is questioned by FBI agents Birdwell and Kendall because he resembles a bank robber who once worked with Red's gang. The agents disclose that, according to an anonymous tip Hal knew where to find Red. Humphrey now deduces that Red and his gang are confusing him with their former partner. From Benedict's former houseboy, Hal learns that Rose used to be engaged to Tom Reed, West's ranch foreman, until Benedict insisted that she marry Hal. Hal suspected West, whose husband died in a hunting accident, of wanting his father's money then fighting with Reed, after accusing him of stealing horses from the Benedict ranch. Belding is murdered after he drops off the ransom money and Reed, Paulson and West become suspects. Reed claims that he got stuck in a mudhole on the road to Reno, and Humphrey suggests to police chief Bates that the mudhole might be a good place to look for a body. On a hunch, Humphrey makes a date with Gypsy and is knocked out and taken to Red. Louise sees them leave and follows. Humphrey attempts to convince Red that he is not his former associate, whom Red thinks is double-crossing him, and then persuades him that one of the people involved in Hal's disappearance is trying to frame Red for Irene's murder. He arranges for all the suspects to pass in front of Copley's window, while Red watches from the alley, and in order to guarantee Red that he will not turn him in, leaves Louise in his custody. At Copley's office, Humphrey discovers that although a body was found in the mudhole, it was not Hal's. Rose then reveals that she and Reed were getting married at the same time that Belding was murdered. When Red is shot by FBI agents before he can identify Irene's killer, Humphrey realizes that someone tipped them off to his plan, and when he learns that the body at the mudhole was embalmed, Humphrey forms a hypothesis. He conjectures that the murderer and Irene were blackmailing Hal, and after killing him, wanted the police to think that Hal killed someone and escaped, so they took a body from the mortuary and substituted it for Hal's. Irene was then killed to keep her quiet, and Red's trademark was used to leave a false trail. Belding was then killed for the ransom money. Just as Humphrey deducees that only Copley has access to the mortuary, the lights in the office go out, and Bates kills Copley. Oscar gets the reward for capturing Red, and Louise gets her mink coat. Later, Humphrey and Louise resume their honeymoon, hanging a "do not disturb" sign on their hotel door to ward off Oscar.