Wednesday, July 10, 2019

More Michael Shayne

I mentioned Fox's series of movies about private detective Michael Shayne several years back. Another one of the movies is in the FXM rotation, The Man Who Wouldn't Die, which will be on FXM tomorrow at 8:50 AM and again Friday at 6:00 AM.

It takes a bit before Shayne (Lloyd Nolan) shows up. The movie starts at a big house owned by businessman Dudley Wolff (Paul Harvey). He and a couple of people working at his house are involved in a burial, and then his daughter Catherine (Marjorie Weaver) unexpectedly shows up. She tells Dad and her stepmother Anna (Helene Reynolds), that she's suddenly gotten married, which might not be a bad thing for Dad since her new hubby is a lawyer in DC who might be able to help with the Senate investigation that's looking into Dad. However, the husband wasn't able to get out of Washington just yet.

Catherine goes to bed, waking up with a start when a shadowy figure with glowing eyes enters her room and then shoots at her. Catherine is frightened, but when Dad and the rest of the folks come in, there's no evidence of a bullet, so they think she just dreamed being shot at. While going for a walk the next day, she runs into Shayne, who's an old friend, and tells him her story. Would he both investigate and pretend to be her husband? Dad obviously doesn't want the authorities around, so Shayne can't present himself as a private investigator.

Meanwhile, it's been discovered that the the body that Dad and the other guys buried has gone missing, so apparently he isn't quite dead! That, and Shayne does find the bullet, telling Catherine not to let anybody else know, but she's such a dum-dum that she blabs anyway.

To be honest, the mystery in The Man Who Wouldn't Die is rather too complicated and solved by a bit of a deus ex machina. But that doesn't stop the movie from being a nice little entry in what is another of the many B mystery series that were being cranked out in the 1930s and 40s. Lloyd Nolan is good yet again as the wisecracking detective, and everybody else is adequate. The Man Who Wouldn't Die is the sort of film you should sit back with a bowl of popcorn and watch when you want something that's not too demanding.

As far as I can tell, The Man Who Wouldn't Die hasn't gotten a DVD release yet, so you're going to have to catch the FXM showings.

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