Comedy murder mystery that’s more annoying than amusing. It tries to be wacky with some fast talking, running around, a disappearing trunk with a body, without a body and a trio that gets caught up in it all. There are better ways to spend your time. Some good actors but they can’t save this one based on a story by mystery writer Craig Rice, the alias of Georgiana Ann Randolph. This is adapted from the seventh book in the John J Malone series.
John J.Malone (Pat O’Brien) is a Chicago defense attorney. His two friends,Jake Justus (George Murphy) and his newlywed wife Helene (Carole Landis) always manage to get mixed up in crime cases and drag Malone in with them.
After wrapping up one case and staying one step ahead of the cops the three duck into a theater where a magic show is in progress, On stage is The Great Movel (George Zucco) and his assistants Lance Richards and Gilda Mayfair. There’s tension as Movel objects to their relationship. Part of the act calls for Movel to get locked inside a cabinet and then appear in a chair on a platform. This time he really disappears.
To keep away from the cops, Mike joins Helene and Jake on their honeymoon at the Lenhart Lodge. On the way Helene accidentally runs a car off the road driven by Gilda. They take her with them to the Lodge. She has a large trunk in her car and that comes too. A man wearing sunglasses follows them.
When they get there Zach the porter (William “Wee Willie” Davis) tells Gilda that a man is looking for her. To help her out,she poses as Mike’s wife. The man in the sunglasses tells Zach to take the trunk to his room but Mike tells him to take it to his room instead. Earlier he made a remark that there may be a body inside. After seeing the man Gilda faints and Mike and his friends all go upstairs to Mike’s room. Lance is hanging around outside.
Mike opens the trunk. Nobody home. It’s loaded with Movel’s props. Inside a cane he finds a check for fifty thousand dollars from Elizabeth Lenhart. She and her sister own the hotel. As the movie progresses Mike looks like he’ll be successful with a diver in the water carnival. Jake and Helene keep showing up to drag him away as things are happening with the trunk. Someone killed the man in the sunglasses and stuffed him inside. He’s Movel.
There some dumb stuff about invisible ink and the story line about Mike and the diver just disappears and there’s even an attempt of Elizabeth’s life during the carnival. The solution is lame and the whole production falls with a resounding thud as it tries way too hard.
Before his movie career, William “Wee Willie” Davis was a pro wrestler and then a wrestling promoter.