Michael Shayne has been employed by a rich guy to follow his wayward daughter and make sure she stays out of trouble. Now considering she was an obvious gambling addict, it seems that just cutting her off financially would have been more prudent! Regardless, shortly after Shayne goes to work, a man is murdered and Shayne is the most obvious perpetrator!! So, it's up to Shayne to unravel the mystery AND still keep this obnoxious spoiled brat out of trouble.
MICHAEL SHAYNE: PRIVATE DETECTIVE is an excellent film as far as the chemistry of the characters goes. Lloyd Nolan is very good as the wisecracking detective and his supporting cast are more than up to the task (particularly Elizabeth Patterson as the adorable aunt). However, by the end of the film, the entire production bogs down because the writing is so bad. Sure, this is a B-detective film, but there is no reason the ending should have been so shabby. Instead of helping the viewer to understand the plot machinations and how the crime was committed by what they saw on the screen, the last 10 minutes consist of the police and Shayne talking and talking and talking until the murderer reveals themselves. This is VERY sloppy writing and then the audience is treated(?) to lengthy expositions by the killer and the illegal gambler as to why they did what they did. Wasn't this SUPPOSED to be something that the viewer could have been able to figure out by watching the mystery? Apparently not--and this makes for a film with a horrible unsatisfying feeling when it's all over.
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