"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.