****SPOILERS*** The first of the Michael Shayne Private Detective movie has our hero Michael Shayne, Lloyd Noland,about to get evicted from his office with all the furniture taken off his hands for him being behind in his monthly payments. That's when fate shines on him with Michael being given the job by money man and race horse connoisseur Mr. Brighton, Clarence Kolb, to look after his out of control daughter Phyllis, Marjorie Weaver, and keep her away from any gambling establishment like casinos and race tracks that she's hopelessly addicted to.
Not much of a job at first for Michael but later in trying to scare Phillis stiff and straighten her out after getting away from him and ending up losing $2,000.00 that she didn't have at the nearest casino things backfire on him. Michael ends up getting Phillis' boyfriend Harry Grange, George Meeker, smashed by spiking his drink after Michael clobbered him for taking Phillis there. Later Michael alter he kissed and make up with a barley able to stand on his feet Harry drives him out into the woods in Phillis' car and leaves him for dead spraying a bottle of catchup on him to make it look like blood.
This joke soon turned out to be a disaster for Michael in that later, after he called the police to revive and sober up Harry, he as well as Phillis found him dead as a door nail by being shot in the head! With his chief protagonist in the movie Police Chief Painter, Donald McBrie, about to run Michael in for murder he turns the tables on him by planning to expose his crooked dealings, whatever they are, under the table that aren't exactly kosher!
***SPOILERS*** Despite working on his own Michael gets help from Aunt Olivia, Elizabeth Patterson, a self styled gumshoe who gets her training in detective work from reading murder mysteries from cheap dine store novels she buys at the supermarket. It's here that Aunt Olivia shows that she's not the hair brained screwball that everyone thinks she is by helping Michael, who at one point ended up losing his pants, cover all the clues as well as his behind that he may have missed that exposed who Harry's killer really was. As usual it, the murder of Harry, had to do with money the killer expected to have won at the race track that was cashed by Harry, who put the bet in for him, before he got it! Which had to do with a scam the killer try to pull off by entering a "Ringer", a champion South American racehorse, in the race which he bet $10,000.00 on that he replaced a ready for the glue factory nag "Bonjo Boy" who went off at odds of 15 to 1!
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