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  • This is a delightful mystery with a great performance from Ronald Reagan. At a very quickly paced 63 minutes, the action rarely lets up, and the plot has enough turns to keep you guessing. I was suprised at Reagan's excellent timing and charm - in so many films he comes off as stuffy, but not here. Great supporting cast kept everything lively and great fun to watch - highly recommended!
  • blanche-25 July 2014
    "Nine Lives Are Not Enough" is a light 1941 B mystery starring Ronald Reagan, Joan Perry, James Gleason, Howard da Silva, and Faye Emerson.

    Reagan plays a newspaper writer, Matt, who prides himself on getting the big stories, but he's a little too quick on the draw and brings in the wrong info. His latest malfeasance has caused him to be demoted to riding in a patrol car with two officers. As luck would have it, they are called in on a dead body. Turns out it's a millionaire, Edward Abbott, who for some reason was holed up in a boarding house. Was it suicide or murder? Matt is sure it's murder; unfortunately, the inquest decision is suicide. But Matt is not convinced. Out of a job and falling for the victim's daughter (Joan Perry), Matt keeps investigating, and the bodies continue to fall around him.

    This was a perfect role for Ronald Reagan, who had a lightweight, charming presence on the screen. He's so good here, handling the rapid-fire dialog and some slapstick with ease. The whole cast is good, and the mystery moves quickly and keeps you interested. I particularly loved James Gleason, a policeman who is saddled with the worst cop ever (Edward Brophy).

    Joan Perry became Mrs. Harry Cohn and retired. And we know what happened to Reagan. Years ago, someone mentioned that even if you didn't like his politics, once you met him, he would charm you. The person she was talking to said, "Never," to which the other person replied. "You would. I've seen it happen many times." I believe it.
  • When I saw this the first time, years ago, I was struck by the performances of Howard Da Silva and Peter Whitney, whose work I knew from their later films.

    And I was struck. Howard Da Silva is one of those actors I think can do no wrong. What a talent.

    Peter Whitney is called "fearsome" in his mini-bio here at IMDb, but in "Nine Lives Are Not Enough" he is anything but. This is a difficult, very non-PC role, and it's hard to believe Whitney was just beginning his acting career.

    Ronald Reagan's forte was not slapstick, and he seems a bit awkward in some of the knockabout scenes, but other times, as the slightly bashful guy, he is very good.

    Again, since this is a Warner Brothers product, the cast is just great, again with so many superb talents who don't get credit, such as John Hamilton, who must have made 500 movies with no credit.

    Hamilton's most famous role was as Perry White, editor at the Metropolis Daily Planet, and his most famous line was probably "Don't call me 'chief'!" Reagan's reporter, Matt Sawyer, continually calls Howard Da Silva's editor "chiefie," which is even funnier in the context of Hamilton's presence.

    "Nine Lives" might not be great cinema, but it is great fun.
  • Nine Lives Are Not Enough is a great example of the studio system at work. This is so obviously a property that was meant for the Cagney- O'Brien duo who made so many good films at Warners. Instead of Ronald Reagan as the fast talking reporter, picture Jimmy Cagney in the part and instead of Howard DaSilva as the hardboiled editor, this is Pat O'Brien to a T. See what I mean.

    Pat O'Brien was ending his Warner Brothers contract stint and the studio was trying to give Cagney better parts. So we substitute Reagan and DaSilva who as a team wouldn't set the world on fire. Jack Warner was quoted once as saying the reason he supported Ronald Reagan for Governor of California was that while at Warners, Reagan was a very obliging man, who took whatever was given him without complaint. That kind of loyalty needs to be rewarded.

    Despite this film being a Cagney-O'Brien hand-me-down, it's fast paced and amusing enough on it's own terms. A good cast of colorful character actors help it along. Make special note of the performances of James Gleason and Edward Brophy as the two cops reporter Reagan is assigned with in their patrol car.
  • This is a B-movie that Ronald Reagan made for Warner Brothers near the beginning of his career. Unlike many of his previous films, here he plays lead and he seemed very adept to this sort of film. Plus it sure helped that he had excellent support in the form of several adept character actors--including Eddie Brophy, James Gleason and Howard de Silva.

    Reagan plays a crime reporter who seems to drive his boss crazy. Several times, Reagan's stories turned out to be seriously mistaken and instead of firing him, the editor gives him a dead-end assignment--going out on patrol with a couple idiot cops (Brophy and Gleason). However, instead of punishment, it turns out that there really is a story, as a missing millionaire is unexpectedly found dead in a local rooming house. So, it's up to Reagan and his police friends to uncover the mystery in a film that is highly reminiscent of a Falcon or Saint series film. Despite being a very likable and competent film, the series never clicked and this is the only one of the series.
  • Investigative reporter Ronald Reagan (as Matt Sawyer) is at odds with his editor, and may lose his job permanently if he's wrong about a big story with dangerous gangster connections. Mr. Reagan thinks a millionaire was murdered, but officials say suicide. The dead man's daughter, pretty Joan Perry (as Jane Abbott), comes to agree with Reagan; and, the two are mutually attracted. He is finally fired, for getting the story wrong, but more murders may prove Reagan right, after all…

    Reagan, who doesn't always dominate the films he is advertised as the "star" of, really lives up to his top billing, this time around. A. Edward Sutherland's "Nine Lives Are Not Enough" is an intermittently bright and funny comic murder mystery, with Reagan showing promise as a light comic; he is the movie's main asset, maintaining interest throughout an unfortunately fair feature. After this appearance, Ms. Perry took herself out of cinema circulation, for marriage with Harry Cohn.

    **** Nine Lives Are Not Enough (1941) A. Edward Sutherland ~ Ronald Reagan, Joan Perry, James Gleason
  • Mr. President aka Ronald Reagan plays reporter Matt Sawyer, who needs to get a big story, and get it right after bungling up the last story. Viewers will recognize James Gleason as Sergeant Daniels, the thin, blustery, over-confident cop who means well, and usually lucks into the right solution. He was in all "The Falcon" movies, and Arsenic and Old Lace. Sawyer and a reporter for the competition play tricks on each other to get the stories in first. When a famous businessman turns up face down, its Sawyer's job to find out what really happened, even when he's thrown off the paper. Story moves along pretty quickly, except that at one point, Reagan looks into the camera and seems to talk to the viewer. Joan Perry plays the dead man's wife, and that was the last role she did, after marrying Harry Cohn in 1941. Ed Brophy is Officer Slattery, sidekick to Sgt. Daniels. Sounding like one of the Three Stooges, he had ALSO been in the "Falcon" series of films. With gangsters, mistresses, and the mentally challenged, this comedy/whodunnit has a little of everything. Listen closely when J.B. the editor speaks - that's Howard DaSilva, who played Louie Mayer in Mommie Dearest. Has a very distinctive voice. One of Reagan's more fun films, this is from the novel by Jerome Odlum, who had written several novels turned into movies.
  • Nine Lives Are Not Enough (1941)

    ** 1/2 (out of 4)

    Warner "B" mystery has a millionaire being found dead but it's unclear whether it's suicide or murder. A news reporter (Ronald Reagan) feels it's murder with a local crook behind it but his editor doesn't believe it but the victim's daughter (Joan Perry) does. Soon the two are working together to try and bring justice to her father. This is a fairly entertaining film that mixes the mysteries with the laughs very well, although in the end the story just isn't strong enough to fill the short 63-minute running time. The first forty-minutes are pretty fast paced and we get quite a few laughs with Reagan turning in a fine performance. It's nothing great or ground breaking but it suits the film just fine. Most of the comic relief comes from Peter Whitney who is wonderful in the role of Roy, a dimwitted fool who constantly gets himself in the middle of things. His comic timing is very good as is his way of playing the slow and stupid character. The rest of the cast are decent enough to help the film but none of them really stick out. I grew a little tired during the final act, which really isn't a good thing considering how short the movie is. Fans of "B" movies will want to check this out but others might want to avoid.
  • In Nine Lives Aren't Enough, a pre-politician Ronald Reagan plays a brash reporter with a tendency to add some fiction and conjecture to his stories, much to the irritation of editor Howard Da Silva. Lucking into a big story during a police ride-along, he soon finds himself dodging thugs, foiling competition, and charming the pretty Joan Perry.

    The cast is solid and the movie is generally pretty amusing, but it also exhibits all the sloppiness typical of B movies. Characters are little more than one character trait, and Perry is weirdly chipper and flirtatious for someone who just lost their father *that* *day*.

    It's very watchable, but not especially memorable.