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Dressed to Kill

4.1 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Private eye Michael Shayne uses 25-year-old clues to solve a double murder in a theater.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lloyd Nolan, Mary Beth Hughes, Sheila Ryan, William Demarest, Ben Carter
  • Directors: Eugene Forde
  • Writers: Brett Halliday, Manning O'Connor, Richard Burke, Stanley Rauh
  • Producers: Sol M. Wurtzel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2005
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009X75CO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,638 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dressed to Kill" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Just to show you (and myself) how little I know, the character of Michael Shayne, created by author Brett Halliday, has been around quite a while, appearing in over 50 novels, numerous films in the 40s, had his own mystery magazine, appeared in three radio programs, had a television series, and even his own comic book...and I never heard of him until last night, when I watched this film, titled Dressed to Kill (1941). Directed by Eugene Forde (Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise, Michael Shayne: Private Detective), the film stars Lloyd Nolan (Bataan, The Lemon Drop Kid, Peyton Place) as private detective Mike Shayne, one of seven times Nolan would appear on the silver screen as the character in the early 40s (Hugh Beaumont would later reprise the role for PRC in the mid to late 40s in five films). Also appearing is William `Uncle Charley' Demarest (It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, "My Three Sons"), Mary Beth Hughes (The Ox-Bow Incident, I Accuse My Parents), Henry Daniell (The Great Dictator, Jane Eyre), Erwin Kalser (Stalag 17), Virginia Brissac (Rebel Without a Cause), Milton Parsons (Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome), Ben Carter (Born to Sing), Mantan Moreland (King of the Zombies), and William 'Whitey' Benedict (Ghosts on the Loose, Bowery Buckaroos).

As the film begins we see Mike Shayne (Nolan) buying a suit (on credit) as he's planning to marry his long time girlfriend and showgirl Joanne La Marr (Hughes) that very day. As Mike walks through the streets to meet up with his fiancée, we get the sense he's pretty well known about town, as everyone he sees has a hello along with wisecrack regarding to his impending nuptials.
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Format: DVD
Everyone knows Mike Shayne, everyone likes Mike Shayne...cops, chorus girls, tailors, lushes, janitors, hotel clerks. Mike is a good natured, smart private eye, maybe not too well educated but shrewd as they come. He doesn't break too many rules, but he's ready to bend them till they creak. If you get yourself murdered, try not to leave any good cigars in the humidor. A few might go missing once Shayne walks through the room. One afternoon, while trying to convince his girlfriend he's ready for marriage, he hears a scream, rushes up the stairs of the hotel to see an open door to a suite. When he enters he lands in one of the strangest murder mysteries of his career. Seated at a dining table set for six are two bodies, dressed in their costumes from "Sweethearts of Paris," a smash musical-comedy hit of 25 years ago. The woman is Desiree Vance, the show's star who played Countess De Froliere. The man wearing an Airedale mask is Louis Lathrop, her producer and costar. He played Pierre Peaubeau. It looks like Lathrop was shot with a rifle and Vance with a revolver by one person -- simultaneously. Shayne discovers the cast members of that long-ago hit are still very much around. One now works as a maid in the hotel. Another, the lush, was the composer. One of the stars appears to have chiseled Lathrop out of $26,000. Even more intriguing, the theater where Lathrop produced "Sweethearts of Paris" is next door to the hotel...and years ago Lathrop had no less than three private passages constructed from his suite to the theater and to the hotel rooms above and below his own. Events 25 years old have come back to roost.

This comedy/murder mystery is a B movie in the great tradition of B movies. They were programmers, turned out quickly by movie craftsmen who knew their business.
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Format: DVD
This is a movie for those of us who loved curling up with a good old murder mystery on a rainy Saturday afternoon long ago. Unfortunately this is the only Michael Shayne that I can find in print. I don't know why because it is much better than most of the later Charlie Chans that you can buy in an expensive set (a waste of money). Lloyd Nolan stars as the wise-cracking detective who would rather solve a double murder than get married on his wedding day. The mystery has enough suspects to keep you guessing and the ending is satisfying. Another plus is William Demarest as the police chief. Demarest adds to any movie, here playing the cop who has seen it all while adding to the comedy at the same time. The DVD transfer is very good, especially considering the price, but there are no special features except plugs for other movies. Still I know what I'll be watching the next rainy Saturday afternoon.
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The title is often confused with two other films with the same moniker; the Sherlock Holmes final series entry from 1946, featuring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce and the 1980 Brian De Palma film. I always wondered why they didn't include this film in the box set of Michael Shayne collection. It was one of the most enjoyable stories from the series. This, and 1942's- "The Man Who Wouldn't Die", which is a part of the box set. I have a feeling that there won't be any more Shayne films put out...must not have sold well enough to suit the powers that be. It's shame, because I was looking forward to seeing the last two Shayne movies with Lloyd Nolan; "Just Off Broadway (1942) & "Time To Kill", also from 1942. It would also be nice to see the first two Shayne films when Hugh Beaumont (of "Leave It To Beaver" fame) took over: "Murder Is My Business" (1946) and "Larceny In Her Heart (1946).
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