Private Detective 62


1h 7m 1933
Private Detective 62

Brief Synopsis

A private eye in Paris falls for the beautiful gambling lady he's investigating.

Film Details

Also Known As
Man Killer, Private Detective
Genre
Romance
Mystery
Release Date
Jun 10, 1933
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
The Vitaphone Corp.; Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

In France, United States State Department employee Donald Free is caught trying to steal French state papers and is deported. Because of the publicity, Donald is released from his government job and has a hard time finding another because jobs are scarce during the Depression. One day, he walks into the Peerless Detective Agency, run by the incompetent and crooked Dan Hogan. Hogan does not have customers and Donald does not have a license, so Donald proposes a partnership. Hogan fails to complete his first assignment and starts a dog stealing racket to bring in money. Then, without Donald's knowledge, Hogan connects with gangster Tony Bandor and business booms. Bandor complains that a society woman, Janet Reynolds, is winning too much at his gambling tables and hires Hogan to find some scandal he can use to prevent her from collecting her winnings. Hogan assigns Donald, without telling him the reason for his request. While keeping an eye on Janet, Donald falls in love with her. They begin seeing each other, but Donald is recognized as a private detective by a friend of Janet, who suggests that he is probably spying on her. After learning the truth about his assignment, Donald immediately quits the detective agency, and warns Hogan to stop harrassing Janet. Janet then informs Bandor that she wants to collect her winnings. To help Bandor, Hogan suggests that they make Janet think she has killed Bandor under suspicious conditions. Hogan then double-crosses Bandor by hiring a drug addict to shoot him after Janet leaves the apartment. She then hires the Peerless Agency to help her, and Donald personally takes her case. He learns the identity of Bandor's actual killer and traces him back to Hogan. Meanwhile, Hogan tries to blackmail Janet. After Donald has Hogan arrested, he is offered his old job again. Finally, Janet proposes to Donald and he accepts.

Film Details

Also Known As
Man Killer, Private Detective
Genre
Romance
Mystery
Release Date
Jun 10, 1933
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
The Vitaphone Corp.; Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Articles

Private Detective 62


William Powell was between his higher profile turns as amateur sleuths Philo Vance at Paramount and Nick Charles at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer when he made this amusing one-off for Warner Brothers, directed by Michael Curtiz. In Private Detective 62 (1933), Powell plays a compromised government agent reduced to working as a private dick for a disreputable New York agency during the early days of the Depression. When he is retained to dig up dirt on society dame Margaret Lindsay, whose roulette winnings are an embarrassment to casino owner Gordon Wescott, Powell finds himself falling unexpectedly in love with his subject - a development that has unforeseen and deadly consequences. A sparkling example of the Warners house style, Private Detective 62 is briskly played by a buoyant cast that includes Arthur Hohl (as Powell's untrustworthy partner) and Ruth Donnelly (as the agency's loyal secretary and voice of conscience), and is brought in under the wire by Curtiz at just 67 minutes. Underpaid and undervalued at the factory-like Warner Brothers, Powell would soon depart for the cozier climate of MGM. After playing the exasperating Philo Vance one more time in The Kennel Murder Case (1934) - also directed by Curtiz - Powell began to define his enduring screen image in such films as Metro's Manhattan Melodrama (1934) and The Thin Man series, as well as Universal's socially conscious comedy My Man Godfrey (1936).

By Richard Harland Smith
Private Detective 62

Private Detective 62

William Powell was between his higher profile turns as amateur sleuths Philo Vance at Paramount and Nick Charles at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer when he made this amusing one-off for Warner Brothers, directed by Michael Curtiz. In Private Detective 62 (1933), Powell plays a compromised government agent reduced to working as a private dick for a disreputable New York agency during the early days of the Depression. When he is retained to dig up dirt on society dame Margaret Lindsay, whose roulette winnings are an embarrassment to casino owner Gordon Wescott, Powell finds himself falling unexpectedly in love with his subject - a development that has unforeseen and deadly consequences. A sparkling example of the Warners house style, Private Detective 62 is briskly played by a buoyant cast that includes Arthur Hohl (as Powell's untrustworthy partner) and Ruth Donnelly (as the agency's loyal secretary and voice of conscience), and is brought in under the wire by Curtiz at just 67 minutes. Underpaid and undervalued at the factory-like Warner Brothers, Powell would soon depart for the cozier climate of MGM. After playing the exasperating Philo Vance one more time in The Kennel Murder Case (1934) - also directed by Curtiz - Powell began to define his enduring screen image in such films as Metro's Manhattan Melodrama (1934) and The Thin Man series, as well as Universal's socially conscious comedy My Man Godfrey (1936). By Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film's working titles were Private Detective and Man Killer. According to production records in the file on the film in the AMPAS library, the film was shot over twenty-one days at a cost of $260,000. Modern sources list Hal B. Wallis as supervisor.