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Fast and Loose

(1939 b 80')

En: 5 Ed: 4

A rare-book seller is also a detective and solves a complicated mystery involving a Shakespeare manuscript.

Garda Sloane (Rosalind Russell) and Joe Sloane (Robert Montgomery) have a rare book store that owes rent; but Garda does not want Joe to take detective work, because he got shot in the behind. Christopher Oates (Etienne Girardot) asks them to buy a Shakespeare manuscript for him. Joe goes to Torrent's insurance agent Dave Hilliard (Alan Dinehart), who sends him to Torrent's house to find out what is wrong. Nick Torrent (Ralph Morgan) welcomes Joe and Garda; but Wilkes (Ian Wolfe) is hostile to Joe. Dave brings the manuscript to Torrent. Joe and Garda see Phil Sergeant (John Hubbard) kissing Christina Torrent (Jo Ann Sayers). Vincent Charlton (Reginald Owen) tells everyone someone knocked him down at the open safe. Joe questions Gerald Torrent (Tom Collins) and takes his gun from him. Nick accuses his son Gerald of striking Vincent and orders him to leave; but Christina says Gerald didn't do it.

Gerald calls Bobby Neville (Joan Marsh), and Lucky Nolan (Sidney Blackmer) tells her Gerald owes him $50,000 for gambling losses. Joe goes to Bobby, and both are arrested for the murder of Nick Torrent and theft. Inspector Forbes (Donald Douglas) questions Christina. Gerald can't return the books because he sold them. Garda sees Joe brought in with Bobby and is jealous. Joe tells the Inspector the manuscript was forged by Wilkes, but the real one was probably stolen. Phil is questioned about the books and is arrested. Joe says Phil is protecting Gerald. Vincent asks to hire Joe for the Torrent family, but Joe says he is working for Phil. Joe and Garda go to gamble, and Nolan offers Joe $50,000 to get lost. Joe takes Nolan's gun and demands his wife back. Two men in a car drive the car of Joe and Garda off the road.

At night Garda finds Wilkes dead in a suit of armor. Bobby sprays perfume on Joe, who avoids Garda. Vincent calls to say he has the Shakespeare, and Joe asks him to bring it. Phil returns to Christina, who is questioned about Gerald by Joe. Owner of the real manuscript is found dead. Nolan says Gerald stole the books to pay his debt, and Forbes has Gerald arrested. Joe says the fake was put in Gerald's room to frame him. Joe leaves Garda with Oates, but they go to Nolan's after him. She sees Joe being abducted, but Bobby turns off the lights. Bobby calls on Joe and says Vincent paid Gerald's debt. Vincent comes, but Joe says his manuscript is forged; then he realizes it is real. Vincent pulls a gun; but Joe gets it, and Garda shoots him in the rear.

This mystery solved by a married couple provides escape entertainment in a respectable way.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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