Opened by Mistake


1h 7m 1940

Film Details

Release Date
May 10, 1940
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

Star reporter Jimmie Daniels and sports editor Buzz Nelson are planning to vacation at the Latonia horse races when newspaper publisher Matt Kingsley orders Jimmie to cover the story of Martin James, a missing bank president who has absconded with one million dollars of bank funds. At Buzz's suggestion, Jimmie tells Kingsley that he has information that the banker is in Yucatan, Mexico. With one thousand dollars of Kingsley's money for their trip expenses, the boys head to Latonia, where they lose most of it betting on the horses. Meanwhile, Kingsley, suspecting a swindle, orders Jimmie to return immediately and goes to meet his boat at the dock. Informed of Kingsley's plans by his secretary, Elizabeth Stiles, Jimmie flies to the port and slips aboard the ship while Buzz buys a second hand trunk at auction to lend plausibility to his return. Their ruse fails however, when Kingsley finds Jimmie's mutual tickets and fires him on the spot. Afterwards, the trunk is delivered to Jimmie's apartment, and when he opens it, a woman's corpse tumbles out. Moments later, Margaret Nichols arrives and offers to purchase the trunk from Jimmie. Suspicious, Jimmie follows her and threatens to turn her in to the police when they hear a police broadcast ordering the arrest of Jimmie and his femald accomplice. Believing that Margaret is innocent, Jimmie teams up with her to track the murderer. With Buzz's help, they trace the trunk to Sam Peters' warehouse, where they find Peters' dead body. Escaping with the dead man's orderbook, they find three other names listed for the day of Jimmie's delivery. Discovering that their first lead, Anton Zarecki, is a steamer trunk repairman, Jimmie and Margaret go to the next address, where a pair of newlyweds live. Her suspicions aroused by Jimmie and Margaret's interest in the trunk, the new Mrs. De Borest opens it and discovers that her new husband is a travelling salesman and not a count. The last address takes them to the house of Jarvis Woodruff, who explains that he is a perfumer and offers Margaret a sample of his newest scent. Noticing their picture in the paper, Woodruff calls the police and when Margaret and Jimmie overhear his conversation, they flee to a diner where Margaret explains that she is an insurance company investigator on the trail of the embezzled money. While wiping a smudge from Jimmie's nose, Margaret notices that the handkerchief she is using is not hers, but belongs to the dead woman. Noting that the scent on the handkerchief matches Woodruff's scent, they realize that he must be the murderer and sneak back to the house, where Woodruff captures them and locks them in the refrigerator. When the police arrive, Woodruff also locks them in the refrigerator. Arriving half-drunk, Buzz tricks his way into Woodruff's house and releases the half-frozen group. While Woodruff is arrested for the murder of his wife, Margaret finds the trunk containing the million dollars and Jimmie scoops the story. Having fallen in love during their adventures, Jimmie and Margaret marry, and as they fly to Mexico City for their honeymoon, Jimmie reads in a rival paper that Martin James has been arrested in Central Park.

Film Details

Release Date
May 10, 1940
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Film Length
7 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The end credits were missing from the viewed print. According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter, Lynne Overman and Peter Lynn Hayes (sic) were to have appeared in this picture, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed.