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Time to Kill
Alternate Title: Brasher Doubloon
Director: Herbert I. Leeds (Dir)
Release Date:   22 Jan 1943
Production Date:   24 Aug--15 Sep 1942; retakes 21 Sep 1942
Duration (in mins):   61
Duration (in feet):   5,479
Duration (in reels):   6
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Cast:   Lloyd Nolan (Michael Shayne)  
    Heather Angel (Merle Davis)  
    Doris Merrick (Linda Conquest)  
    Ralph Byrd (Louis Venter)  
    Richard Lane (Lieut. Breeze)  
    Sheila Bromley (Lois Morny)  
    Morris Ankrum (Alex Morny)  
    Ethel Griffies (Mrs. Murdock)  
    James Seay (Leslie Murdock)  
    Ted Hecht (George Anson Phillips)  
    William Pawley (Hench)  
    Syd Saylor (Postman)  
    Lester Sharpe (Elisha Washburn)  
    Charles Williams (Dental assistant)  
    LeRoy Mason (Rudolph)  
    Phyllis Kennedy (Ena)  
    Paul Guilfoyle (Monagan)  
    Helen Flint (Marge)  
    Bruce Wong (Houseboy)  
    Harry Carter (Spangler)  
    Clara Horton (Maid)  
    George Melford    

Summary: Private detective Michael Shayne is hired by cantankerous widow Mrs. Murdock to find a valuable coin known as a brasher doubloon, which she believes was stolen from her collection by her daughter-in-law, singer Linda Conquest. Mrs. Murdock also wants Shayne to arrange for a divorce for her son Leslie and Linda. During the visit, Shayne becomes intrigued by Mrs. Murdock's nervous secretary, Merle Davis. Afterward, Shayne contacts coin dealer Elisha Washburn, who had tried to buy the brasher doubloon, and arranges to meet him later that day. Shayne then visits Lois Morny, one of Linda's best friends, and finds her in the company of Louis Venter, a well-known gigolo. Lois flirts with Shayne but refuses to tell him anything about Linda, and after he departs, he accosts a man who has been following him since he left Mrs. Murdock's home. The man is George Anson Phillips, who claims to be a private detective working for Linda. Shayne agrees to go to Phillips' apartment later, then during his meeting with Washburn, implies that Washburn purchased the stolen coin in order to sell it back to Mrs. Murdock. As he departs, Shayne overhears Washburn call Phillips, and when he arrives at the detective's apartment, he finds that Phillips has just been shot to death. That evening, Shayne goes to the Idle Valley Club, which is owned by Lois' husband Alex. It is also where Linda works, and Shayne is finally able to meet her. Linda indignantly declares that she did not steal the coin, and does not want any of Mrs. Murdock's money to make her divorce Leslie. Linda asserts that she never heard of Phillips, after which Shayne learns of a connection between Venter and Phillips. The next morning, Mrs. Murdock tells Shayne to drop the case because she found the coin in a dressing gown pocket, but Shayne becomes suspicious when he receives another brasher doubloon that was mailed to him by Phillips before he died. When Shayne takes the coin to Washburn's office for identification, however, he learns that Washburn, too, has been murdered. Washburn's secretary throws suspicion onto Shayne, and police lieutenant Breeze gives him six hours to clear himself. Shayne goes to Mrs. Murdock's home, where she admits that her coin is a counterfeit and Leslie confesses that he stole it to use as collateral for a gambling debt he owes to Alex. Shayne learns that a dental supplies company had been sending Venter materials that could have been used to counterfeit coins, but before he can question Venter, an hysterical Merle confesses that she killed him. Merle admits that she had been giving Venter money for eight years, but refuses to say why he was blackmailing her. Shayne leaves Merle, whose gun has not been fired, in the care of Linda, then goes to Venter's apartment. Soon after, Breeze determines that the gun used to kill Venter was used to kill Washburn and Phillips as well, and Shayne asserts that Venter, who was counterfeiting the coins with Washburn, Phillips and Leslie, shot the other two and was in turn killed by Leslie, who was trying to protect his mother. Shayne reveals that Merle had been Mr. Murdock's secretary until eight years ago when he made advances to her while drunk. In shock and hysterical, Merle did not realize that Mrs. Murdock had entered the room and then pushed Murdock out a high window to his death. Venter, who was photographing a parade below, accidentally took a picture of Mrs. Murdock committing the murder and has been blackmailing her ever since. Leslie killed Venter when he threatened to expose Mrs. Murdock, who had convinced Merle that she was to blame for Murdock's death, once and for all. Just then, Breeze learns that Mrs. Murdock choked to death, and with Leslie in custody, the case is closed. Later, Merle returns to her home in the Midwest, and Linda promises to see Shayne after she obtains a divorce. 

Production Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.  
Distribution Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.  
Director: Herbert I. Leeds (Dir)
  Charles Hall (Asst dir)
  Paul Le Pere (Dial dir)
Producer: Sol M. Wurtzel (Exec prod)
  William Goetz (Exec prod)
Writer: Clarence Upson Young (Scr)
Photography: Charles [G.] Clarke (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Richard Day (Art dir)
  Chester Gore (Art dir)
Film Editor: Alfred Day (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Thomas Little (Set dec)
  Frank E. Hughes (Set dec)
Costumes: Herschel (Cost)
Music: Emil Newman (Mus)
Sound: Eugene Grossman (Sd)
  Harry M. Leonard (Sd)
Country: United States
Series: Michael Shayne

Songs: "I Had the Craziest Dream," music and lyrics by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren.
Composer: Mack Gordon
  Harry Warren
Source Text: Based on the novel The High Window by Raymond Chandler (New York, 1942) and the character "Michael Shayne" created by Brett Halliday.
Authors: Brett Halliday
  Raymond Chandler

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. 3/12/1942 dd/mm/yyyy LP12085

PCA NO: 8772
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Recording

Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Detective
Subjects (Major): Blackmail
  Counterfeiters and counterfeiting
Subjects (Minor): Battered women
  Collectors and collecting
  Hysteria (Social psychology)
  Mothers and sons
  Nightclub entertainers

Note: The working titles of this film were Brasher Doubloon and Murder, Murder Everywhere . According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, the studio was given permission by the Treasury Department to reproduce a brasher doubloon for the film on the condition that it and the mold used to produce it were destroyed after the picture was completed. The original doubloon was minted in 1787 by Ephraim Brasher for the state of New York. Although an 8 Jul 1942 HR news item notes that Stanley Rauh was working on the script, the extent of his contribution to the completed film has not been confirmed. On 20 Aug 1942, HR stated that Virginia Gilmore was to have the lead opposite Lloyd Nolan. Another HR news item noted that Harold Huber was set "to play the heavy" in the picture, but although HR production charts include both Huber and Mary Beth Hughes in the cast, neither of them appear in the released film.
       Twentieth Century-Fox filmed Raymond Chandler's novel again in 1947 as The Brasher Doubloon , with George Montgomery as "Philip Marlowe" (see above). Time to Kill was the last Twentieth Century-Fox "Michael Shayne" picture. According to a 31 Aug 1942 HR news item, Twentieth Century-Fox was planning to make two more pictures in the series, before dropping it so that Nolan could be cast in more prominent productions. The same news item noted that the studio would be promoting Nolan as a leading man after such Twentieth Century-Fox actors as Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda and Victor Mature temporarily retired from the screen in order to enter military service. In 1945, PRC purchased the rights to the character "Michael Shayne" from Twentieth Century-Fox and began its own series, starring Hugh Beaumont as the detective. Their first release was Murder Is My Business (see above). For more information about the series, consult the Series Index and the entry above for Michael Shayne, Private Detective

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   5-Dec-42   
Daily Variety   7 Dec 42   p. 3, 10
Film Daily   4 Dec 42   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   26 May 42   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Jul 42   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Aug 42   p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Aug 42   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Aug 42   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   21 Aug 42   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   25 Aug 42   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   31 Aug 1942.   
Hollywood Reporter   11 Sep 42   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   15 Sep 42   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   22 Sep 42   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Sep 42   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Oct 42   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Nov 42   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   7 Dec 1942.   
Motion Picture Daily   4 Dec 1942.   
Motion Picture Herald   5 Dec 1942.   
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   7 Nov 42   p. 995.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   5 Dec 42   p. 1042.
New York Times   25 Dec 42   p. 15.
Variety   9 Dec 42   p. 8.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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