A Scream in the Dark (1943)
Newspaper reporter turned detective Mike, along with his partner Eddie Tough (who used to be his photographer on the paper), and Mike’s girlfriend Joan go after some business. She’s the daughter of the local police chief, so she can send him clients, is the idea.. The first case he gets is a domestic investigation. Leo Stark’s wife, Muriel has left him for another guy, Gerald Messenger, a man who looks like an ex-pug. Mike finds her, and Messenger, in an apartment, Eddie takes a photograph of them clutching each-other, and she agrees to give Stark a divorce, and ten thousand dollars. While celebrating at a restaurant, Mike is interrupted by a man, Mr. Norton, who claims that Muriel is really his wife. Mike establishes that Norton had married her two years past, while Stark says he married her five years before. But Norton isn’t interested in getting rid of any legal tie with her, he wants her back. Mike agrees to take the job. While he’s trying to find her, Norton gets a phone call. He’s told that the caller knows where his wife is, and that the informant is waiting for his just around the corner. Norton goes out to the street; a car drives up and parks behind him. A man gets out, we see him only from the waist down. He is carrying a sword umbrella. He stabs Norton in the back, killing him. Then someone shots Messenger to death. Just to make sure there are enough bodies, Messenger’s ex-girlfriend Stella gets bumped off as well. Next a new ex-husband shows up at Mike’s office, one Sam Lackey, from Texas. He offers to pay in advance if Mike will help his find his wife. He saw her name in the newspapers. She’s Muriel Stark. Mike turns down the advance payment, he says it’s unlucky–he tells Sam that his wife is poison–people are being murdered all over the place because of her. Mike and Eddie decide they’d better get to Stark, before he can be bumped off too. Meanwhile, Mike’s girlfriend Joan is working with her boss Police Detective Lieutenant Cross, to solve the same murders. Will anyone solve the case before the entire human race is eradicated? If you get the chance, watch this film and find out.