Sunday, March 14, 2010

Private Detective 62 (1933)

This is the second of a mini marathon of Pre-Code films from William Powell. As with The Jewel Robbery, this film is not, to the best of my knowledge on DVD, however it is on the rotation at Turner Classic Movies on cable so there is a strong possibility that you can run across it at some point.

To start with I have no idea where the number in the title comes from, but it doesn't really matter, this is a rip roaring mystery drama comedy about government agent William Powell who, after being arrested and deported by the French government ends up as a private detective working for a detective of lesser moral standing. Complications arise when Powell 's used to get the goods on a socialite who is owed a great deal of money by a gambler. Powell falls for the girl, but continues to see her until he's found out. As things become even more morally questionable a murder occurs and Powell must wade into the matter.

Excellent story of intrigue and adventure that has a wickedly funny edge to it. Its easy to imagine Powell's Donald Free as Nick Charles in his heyday since he seems to operate in a similar manner. Everything clicks here from the mystery to the comedy to the romance into a seamless whole. This is one of the examples where Hollywood nailed perfectly.

I can't understand why this film isn't better known because its so much fun.

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