1 May 2020 | boblipton
Good Story, Good Actors
I thought a French key was some vaguely salacious shindig, but a Google search turned up an island off Guatemala with sloths and jaguars. In this movie, it an insert into a door that locks low-rent private detective Albert Dekker out of his cheap hotel room.
The story continues with a murder and an old $5 gold piece in mint condition. It's written by and based on Frank Gruber's Johnny Fletcher mysteries, and it's a pretty good mystery, with an interesting cast, including Mike Mazurki, Evelyn Ankers, Byron Foulger and Joe Derita. Produced by an independent and released by Republic, it's an engaging bit of nonsense, redeemed by its tight structure.
Gruber, who once codified the western into seven basic plots, wrote hundreds of stories before he began to get accepted by the pulps. By the time of his death in 1969 at age 65, he had sold more than 400.