Kathy O’Connor (The Sunset Strip Case)

Created by Harold Joyce

Live! Naked! Detecting!

Okay, so KATHY O’CONNOR‘s not a private eye or even a cop. She’s just another small-time showgirl (aren’t they all?) who poses as a stripper to investigate her father’s murder, in 1941 piece of cinematic silliness initally titled The Sunset Murder Case. It seems the owner of the nightclub where she works is somehow involved. Meanwhile, she has to choose between two men with the hots for her. And all this without showing any more flesh than you’d see in a Bud Light commercial nowadays, but back then this was considered hot stuff.

Although it was completed in 1938, the film was only released in 1941, because it starred Sally Rand, the notorious fan dancer, which was reason enough to make various censor boards sweat. They also objected to the original title, The Sunset Strip Case, because of the obvious double-entendre. Boston and several other cities promptly banned the film, and the film was tied up in law suits for three years, when it was finally under the less risqué title.

Not that it mattered. Everyone pretty much hated it, for showing either too much or too little.


  • “It sounds rather ridiculous and exploitative, and it definitely is the former. Luckily it largely manages to avoid the latter.”
    — Quota Quickie
  • “… a thin excuse for an hour’s screen time… a mighty sad piece of cinematic tripe”
    — Variety


    (aka “High Explosive” and “The Sunset Strip Case”)
    (1941, Grand National)
    59 minutes, black & white
    Story by Harold Joyce
    Screenplay by Paul Franklin, Arthur Hoerl
    Additional dialogue by Lawrence Meade
    Directed by Louis J. Gasnier
    Produced by George A. Hirliman
    Associate producer: Sam Coslow
    Supervising producer: Samuel Diege
    Starring Sally Rand as KATHY O’CONNOR
    Also starring Esther Muir, Vince Barnett, Paul Sutton, Lona Andre, Mary Brodel, George Douglas, Reed Hadley, Kathryn Kane, Dennis Moore, Frank O’Connor, Stanley Price, Henry King, Bruce Mitchell


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

Leave a Reply