This week’s mystery movie was the 1942 Twentieth Century-Fox film “The Man Who Wouldn’t Die,” with Lloyd Nolan, Marjorie Weaver, Helen Reynolds, Henry Wilcoxon and Richard Derr.
Executive Producer Sol M. Wurtzel. Screenplay by Arnaud d’Usseau, based on a novel by Clayton Rawson and the character Michael Shayne created by Brett Halliday. Director of photography Joseph P. MacDonald, art direction by Richard Day and Lewis Creber, set decorations by Thomas Little, edited by Fred Allen, costumes by Herschel, sound by Joseph E. Aiken and Harry M. Leonard, technical advisor Detective Lt. Frank L. James, musical direction by Emil Newman. Directed by Herbert I. Leeds.
“The Man Who Wouldn’t Die” is available on DVD from Amazon as part of a Michael Shayne set. It will air on the Fox Movie Channel on Oct. 28-29.
Writing in the New York Times (April 28, 1942) Bosley Crowther did not approve of such goings-on:
Another set of mysterious murders in a big, dark house around which storms beat and thunder rolls; another opportunity for Detective Michael Shayne, the series sleuth, to prove his deductive prowess — that is the sum and substance of Twentieth Century-Fox’s “The Man Who Wouldn’t Die,” which opened yesterday at the Rialto. The problem is no more difficult than usual in low-budget mystery films, the solution is according to routine and the man who presumably wouldn’t die is quite effectively destroyed in the end. Lloyd Nolan again plays the detective with customary joi de vivre, and Olin Howland makes an amusing character out of a rural chief of police.
A standardized sixty-minute filler — that’s what this one is. Only — let’s stop calling such pictures “whodunnits”; let’s start calling them “whocares.”
For Monday, we have a mysterious gent.
Update: This is Francis Ford, and as many people pointed out, John Ford’s older brother.
For Tuesday, we have a mystery woman.
Update: This is Ruth Warren.
Brain Trust roll call: Dan Nather (Monday’s mystery guest), Howard Mandelbaum (Monday’s mystery guest), Mary Mallory (Monday’s mystery guest), Gary (Monday’s mystery guest) and Floyd Thursby (Monday’s mystery guest).
For Wednesday, here’s a somewhat better picture of Tuesday’s mystery woman.
Update: Another shot of Ruth Warren.
And we have this mystery gent. I’m not sure that I approve of such goings-on. In fact, I’m fairly certain that I don’t.
Update: This is Paul Harvey, suitable grim at a late-night interment in the pouring rain.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery woman), Sheila (Monday’s mystery guest) and Randy Skretvedt (Monday’s mystery guest).
For “Aha Thursday” we have a mystery gent.
Update: This is Billy Bevan.
… and a mystery woman with a gun. And would you believe it? She does not approve of such goings-on.
Update: This is Helene Reynolds.
Brain Trust roll call: Thom and Megan (Monday’s mystery gent). Half-credit to Howard Mandelbaum: He’s in the movie but in another role.
For Friday, we have our mystery leading man and mystery leading lady, with a mysterious companion.
Update: This is Lloyd Nolan, Marjorie Weaver and Richard Derr.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery gent and Thursday’s mystery guests).