Midnight Manhunt (1945)

Article 2389 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-11-2007
Posting Date: 2-26-2008
Directed by William C. Thomas
Featuring William Gargan, Ann Savage, Leo Gorcey

When a corpse shows up outside of a wax museum, two reporters compete to get a story about it. However, they have a problem; the corpse keeps disappearing and reappearing in other places.

Well, it takes place at midnight, and everyone’s hunting for a man, so the title is appropriate. The twist is that the man is dead. Though it isn’t strictly a horror movie, it has one of those premises that has it nudging the genre, and the presence of both a wax museum and George Zucco only make it hone a little bit closer. Like most movies with vanishing and reappearing bodies, it’s played mostly for laughs, and the presence of Leo Gorcey (taking a break from East Side Kids movies) adds to the fun, and yes, his malaprops come with him. It’s a low-budget programmer, but it’s a lot of fun if you’re in a light-hearted mood. The movie also features Charles Halton as the twittery Wax Museum owner, and Ann Savage, who would appear in DETOUR later that year. By the way, Leo Gorcey’s character’s name is Clutch Tracy, and this got me imagining what a cross between Clutch Cargo and Dick Tracy would look like. I’m still not sure, but I bet the chin would be something else…


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