Created by Milton Raison
There is a nifty little 1946 B-pic called The Mysterious Mr. Valentine from Republic. It stars William Henry as brash loudmouth private eye STEVE MORGAN, and Linda Sterling as his client, Janet Spencer.
She hires him after she’s accused of hitting and killing a man, following a convoluted string of events featuring a flat tire, the head of the Doane & Armstrong Chemical Manufacturing Chemists, his extremely jealous wife, a stolen car and a “borrowed” car, a murder frame, blackmail, adultery, theft, gangsters and a slew of corporate skullduggery.
It’s not particularly noir, and the opening title sequence is more suggestive of a rom-com than anything (and sure enough, Steve and Janet do pitch an awful lot of woo at each other), but it also packs a lot action and plot (and some corny dialogue) into its fifty-six minute running time.
I’m not sure you can go by me but I really liked it. There’s a very amusing bit where Sterling pretends she’s his secretary. Can you still call them that?
Anyway, it moves along briskly.
HEY! ISN’T THAT…?
- Virginia Christine, who plays Lola Carson, the would-be femme fatale, later went on to play Mrs. Olsen on the Folgers commercials for 21 years.
- THE MYSTERIOUS MR. VALENTINE
Black & white
Original screenplay by Milton Raison
Directed by Philip Ford
Starring William Henry as STEVE MORGAN
With Linda Stirling as Janet Spencer
Also starring Virginia Christine, Tristram Coffin, Barbara Wooddell, Kenne Duncan