Strange Affair


1h 18m 1944

Brief Synopsis

A mystery writer and his wife investigate a murder at a charity benefit.

Film Details

Also Known As
Stalk the Hunter
Genre
Mystery
Release Date
Oct 5, 1944
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,063ft

Synopsis

Bill Harrison, the creator of a comic strip sleuth, and his wife, Jacqueline "Jack" Harrison, are invited to a banquet honoring war refugees, which is being organized by their psychiatrist friend, Dr. Brenner. Brenner is busily preparing for the evening's festivities when Dr. Baumler, a fellow refugee and a psychiatrist on the staff of an internment camp, phones and, claiming that his life is in danger, pleads with Brenner to meet his train at 7:30 that night. Because Brenner is occupied, Jack volunteers Bill's services, and so Bill greets Baumler at the train station and hails a taxi to take them to the banquet. When Baumler asks to stop along the way to use a pay phone, he fails to reappear, and Bill proceeds to the banquet alone. Upon arriving at the hall, Bill is introduced to the real Dr. Baumler, who is not the man he met at the train station. Bill, Jack, Brenner, Brenner's daughter Freda and Baumler are seated at the same table, and later are joined by the glamorous Marie Dumont and Rudolph Kruger, an astronomer. Midway through the dinner, Baumler keels over in his chair dead, and although the police doctor asserts that Baumler suffered a heart attack, Bill insists that he was murdered. Police lieutenant Washburn and Sgt. Erwin are assigned to the case, and Bill tells them of meeting the impostor at the train station. After the Harrisons return home that evening, Bill leaves the house to take a walk, and Jack deduces he has gone to see Marie Dumont. Soon after, a man from the immigration department telephones her and reports that at Bill's request, he has examined the records of Marie and Kruger and discovered that Kruger is an author and Marie is Baumler's wife. Meanwhile, Bill knocks on the door of Marie's apartment and overhears her arguing with a man. When Marie admits Bill to the apartment, the man is gone, however, and Marie becomes defensive when Bill asks her who directed her to sit at Baumler's table. Jack then arrives at Marie's apartment and declares that Marie is Baumler's widow. After Marie angrily orders them to leave, Leslie Carlson, the owner of a paint manufacturing company, emerges from her bedroom. Later, at the Harrisons', Freda Brenner arrives and announces that her father is missing and that she has been summoned to police headquarters for questioning. Bill and Jack accompany her there and convince Washburn to allow them into the interrogation room, where Freda, Marie, Carlson, Kruger and Domino, a refugee who works as a hotel doorman, are being questioned. After accusing one of those present of poisoning Baumler, Washburn asks Freda where her father is and tells her that Baumler gave Brenner $200,000 to stash in his safety deposit box. Washburn allows them to leave, and Freda, Jack and Bill proceed to the bank and discover that the cash is missing. When Freda questions the bank guard, he describes a man who was loitering near the box, whom Bill sketches and recognizes as the impostor from the train station. Hoping that the doorman can be of assistance, Bill shows the drawing to Domino, who suddenly remembers a possible clue that he has at home. While Domino returns home to retrieve the clue, Bill fills in as doorman at the hotel. Meanwhile, Jack decides to follow her own lead and asks Kruger to join her for lunch at the hotel. There, Jack begins to question Kruger about astronomy, but when Kruger recognizes Bill dressed in a doorman's uniform, he accuses the couple of spying on him and angrily leaves. Soon after, Domino returns and hands Bill a slip of paper, which he claims the pathologist dropped in the police station hallway. The paper contains the name of a poison used to thin paint, leading Bill to conclude that Carlson, the paint manufacturer, is involved in the murder. Later, Marie and Carlson visit the Harrisons' house and ask Bill's help in locating the missing $200,000. When Bill accuses them of murdereing Baumler, Carlson offers Bill a reward for the return of the money. After Marie and Carlson leave, Bill goes to search Carlson's warehouse and is kidnapped by the man from the train station and an accomplice. Following her husband to the warehouse, Jack arrives just in time to see him drive off in a truck with his kidnappers. While speeding to keep up with the truck, Jack runs a red light and is stopped by a motorcycle officer. Jack convinces the officer that her husband is in danger, and the two follow the truck to a bar. There, Jack notices that the bartender has a pistol under the bar and reports back to the police officer, who is waiting outside. When the officer goes to investigate, he sees the bartender shooting a water pistol. Deciding that Jack must be insane, he arrests her and takes her to the police psychiatrist. Meanwhile, Bill is taken to a back room of the bar and there discovers that Brenner is also being held prisoner. Soon after, Domino, the mastermind behind Baumler's murder, arrives and informs Bill that he ordered Brenner kidnapped and the money stolen to make the doctor appear guilty of Baumler's murder. Domino addss that Baumler's death was necessary because he realized that members of Domino's spy ring were infiltrating the hospital as patients. Back at the police station, meanwhile, Jack locates Washburn and convinces him of Bill's peril, and they rush to the bar just in time to rescue Bill and Brenner and arrest the spies.

Film Details

Also Known As
Stalk the Hunter
Genre
Mystery
Release Date
Oct 5, 1944
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 18m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,063ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Stalk the Hunter. Allyn Joslyn and Evelyn Keyes previously starred together in the 1943 Columbia film Dangerous Blondes.