Saturday, November 16, 2019

Jim Hanvey, Detective (1937)

3:20, 9:09, 13:25, 14:20, 35:55, 36:44,      21:50

Noted detective Jim Hanvey is trying to have a relaxing vacation out in the country, despite an insurance company's desperate attempts to get him on the case of the missing Frost emeralds. His fishing is interrupted by a lovestruck young couple, Don Terry and Joan Frost. They tell him they're the ones who stole the diamonds, as part of a bet, but misplaced them, and need Hanvey's help to relocate the jeweled necklace before they're discovered. He's completely uninterested in helping, until he discovers two gangsters are on their trail, and murder soon strikes...

At a mere 53 minutes, Jim Hanvey, Detective manages to pack in everything a film needs. An interesting story, amusing comedy, and great characters. It's a well-paced flick with plenty of adventure!

The cast here is really something special. The titular lead is a distinctive sleuth, incredibly smart and believably so, he also has an acerbic sense of humour that makes sure he's never dull. Hs way of speaking is = too, with his Praise be's and Powerful sorry's. The young couple meanwhile are such a sappy duo that Hanvey can't help but roll his eyes every other scene. It's hilarious watching him constantly having to pull apart the two young lovers  off each-other, [like animals in heat]. They're whiny and somewhat petulant, but it feels intentional, and they never go overboard with it, so I never felt like I genuinely wanted them dead.

Career criminals Smith and Romo provide some good laughs, but are also genuinely interesting in how they help out Hanvey. They may be total scoundrels, but   They keep you guessing the whole time which direction the''ll end up going.

The mystery is a good one, and it establishes everything well. We understand the characters, thefts, murders, and = all like neatly arranged pieces on a chessboard. We learn things at a good rate, and while here aren't a great deal of clues, we never feel cheated, and the story progresses at a good rate. The only place where the movie fell flat for me in in the identity of the killer. When the reveal came, I hadn't the faintest idea who had just been exposed. Even disregarding that, the one place where I feel more clues were necessary was with the murderer.

The acting in this film is hilarious! For those unfamiliar with Guy Kibbee, this is a great introduction. Noble but perpetually grumpy, he carries the movie perfectly. Tom Brown and Lucie Kaye are amusing as the ridiculously romantic couple, and convince in their more dramatic/serious moments too. Catherine Doucet is hilarious with how she plays her role for melodrama. Overall, the performances here are fine at the least, highly enjoyable at best.

Jim Hanvey, Detective is a short but sweet mystery. Getting across the perfect amount of laughs and intrigue in enough time to boil a pot of coffee, it's a fun watch, especially if you like Guy Kibbee...

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