The Murder Is My Business
8 weeks ago
The Murder Is My Business >
Michael Shayne is a private detective who is disliked greatly by Pete Rafferty, local chief of police detectives. Rafferty notifies the newspaper press that he is going to close Shayne's agency, just as Michael is about to be hired by the wealthy Eleanor Ramsey, who is being blackmailed. She is the stepmother of what she considers to be two grown-up brats, Dorothy and Ernst, and she considers their father to be of little value to the world himself. They all conspire to get their hands on her money, even to the extent of attempting to hire Shayne to frame an insurance robbery. Mrs. Ramsey is murdered, and Rafferty is trying to pin the killing on Shayne, despite the fact that suspicion points to Buell Renslow, brother of the slain woman. Shayne's secretary, the fetching Phyllis Hamilton, decides to do a little detective work to help her boss.
Private eye tries to find a killer.
MURDER IS MY BUSINESS 1946 <br/><br/>After 20th Century Fox stopped production of their successful string of Michael Shayne Private Detective films, Producers Releasing Corporation picked up the film rights. Lloyd Nolan had headlined the films for 20th Century. These were for the most part, nifty, well-paced little mystery programmers. P.R.C. used Hugh Beaumont to headline their series. Needless to say the production values are a lot less than the Nolan set of films.<br/><br/>In this one, the first with Hugh Beaumont, has Detective Michael Shayne getting involved in a murder and blackmail case. A wealthy woman, Helene Heigh, hires Shayne to find out who is blackmailing her. Before Beaumont can really dig into the case, the woman is killed.<br/><br/>The list of suspects is quite large with Heigh's husband at the top. The man, Pierre Watkin, had tried to hire Beaumont to arrange a robbery of Heigh's jewels. Then, there is the two children from Watkin's earlier marriage, Julia McMillian and David Reed. Add to this the brother of the dead woman, Lyle Talbot, his showgirl friend, Virginia Christine and several others. Also fouling up the case is the local Police Lt, Ralph Dunn. Dunn dislikes Beaumont and tries to pin the whole mess on Beaumont.<br/><br/>Helping Beaumont is his trusty secretary, Cheryl Walker and newspaper reporter, Richard Keene. Most of the film is spent with plenty of not so red herrings being thrown at the audience. Needless to say Beaumont ties all the loose ends etc into a nice bow for Police Detective Ralph Dunn.<br/><br/>There are a few snappy lines delivered by Beaumont but the film as a whole moves at a snail's pace. It seems much longer than the 64 minute runtime. Beaumont is watchable, but the rest of the cast looks like they would rather be elsewhere.<br/><br/>The director, Sam Newfield does what he can, but the poor production values etc do not help. The talented Newfield scored with several low rent programmers, like, THE LADY CONFESSES, APOLOGY FOR MURDER, MONEY MADNESS, THE COUNTERFEITERS, (all with Hugh Beaumont) FINGERPRINT'S DON'T LIE, WESTERN PACIFIC AGENT and HI-JACKED.<br/><br/>As a fan of this low budget type fare, I was a tad disappointed with this one. A OK try, but is falls short. Now I just need to take in the rest of this P.R.C film series for comparison.
For those who have never seen Hugh Beaumont outside of Leave It To Beaver, here's a chance to do so. Beaumont made quite a few mystery/detective films before hitting the small screen, and his role a Michael Shayne is typical of many of his portrayals. Here he is a slightly-wisecracking private dick who likes to leave trails of peanut shells wherever his cases take him. He's sort of a cross between Dick Powell's version of Philip Marlowe, and Dick Powell's radio character of Richard Diamond (if you can picture that). The production values are what you would expect from PRC, and yet I've seen worse. The storyline leaves little room for suspense, with a not too-unpredictable ending. Still, Beaumont's pleasant personality, some classic autos, and a couple of classy-looking '40s dames make this a watchable entry in the Michael Shayne series.
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