Mystery Movie Series of 1940s Hollywood


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About the Book

Many of the 20th century’s most celebrated fictional sleuths appeared in Hollywood movie mystery series of the forties. This volume focuses on 19 series (146 films): The Saint, The Lone Wolf, Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow, Nick Carter, Michael Shayne, Ellery Queen, Boston Blackie, The Falcon, Mr. District Attorney, Wally Benton, Crime Doctor, The Whistler, Inner Sanctum, Dick Tracy, Philip Marlowe, Jack Packard and Doc Long, Steve Wilson and Lorelei Kilbourne and John J. Malone.
For each series, there is an overview of the source material, the individual films, and the performers who acted in them. An overall review of each film is included, with a critique of the film’s quality and the cohesiveness of its plot. For movies based on written works, a comparison between the film and its literary original is offered.

About the Author(s)

Ron Backer is an attorney who has previously written for law reviews and other legal publications. An avid fan of mystery and classic horror films, he lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Ron Backer
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 330
Bibliographic Info: 63 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4864-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5700-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

1. The Saint: The Robin Hood of Modern Crime      5

2. The Lone Wolf: The Retired Cracksman      26

3. Sherlock Holmes: The World’s Greatest Detective      52

4. The Shadow: The Caped Avenger      86

5. Nick Carter: The Master Detective      97

6. Michael Shayne: The Private Detective      104

7. Ellery Queen: The Amateur Detective      128

8. Boston Blackie: The Reformed Ex-Convict      149

9. The Falcon: The Other Robin Hood of Modern Crime      170

10. Mr. District Attorney: Champion of the People      196

11. Wally Benton: The “Whistling” Comedy Mysteries      205

12. Crime Doctor: The Psychiatrist Detective      213

13. The Whistler: The Man Who Knew Many Things      229

14. Inner Sanctum: The Mystery of the Mind      246

15. Dick Tracy: The Police Detective      260

16. Philip Marlowe: The Hardboiled Detective      271

17. Jack Packard and Doc Long: I Love a Mystery      286

18. Steve Wilson and Lorelei Kilbourne: The Big Town Reporters      294

19. John J. Malone: The Attorney Detective      302

Bibliography      313

Index      315

Book Reviews & Awards

“commendable detail”—Mystery Scene; “vintage black and white photos accompany discussions of themes, side plots, and more and contribute to a top pick for any in-depth film collection”—Midwest Book Review; “good book…fun read”—Little Shoppe of Horrors; “most entertaining and informative…lively and entertaining read bolstered by impressive research and a pleasing presentation complete with numerous photographs. It’s a book many fans of the series genre have been looking forward to for years.”—Scarlet.