Cast & Crew
At the Personal Research Council detective agency, president and treasurer Larry D. Morgan and his secretary, Daisy "Dizzy" F. Nelson, are in desperate need of new clients. One day, a woman named Mrs. Swann visits the office and asks Morgan to investigate her physician husband Kenneth, who she feels has been concealing something from her. However, a short time later, Dr. Swann is found murdered at the studio of painter Peter Vandaman, one his clients. When Morgan tries to return Mrs. Swann's money, she tells him to keep it and find her husband's murderer. Mrs. Swann later tells Morgan that the only thing missing from her husband's body was a set of keys. At the site of the murder, Morgan questions Vandaman, but he provides Morgan with a believable alibi. Morgan then goes to Dr. Swann's office, where he discovers Miss Phillips, Swann's receptionist, looking through the doctor's files. Phillips admits that she was in love with her boss, but provides him with no further clues. After tracing the last phone number that Dr. Swann dialed to actress Paris Wood, Morgan, posing as a newspaperman, drops by her dressing room. There he is introduced to Jeffrey Regan, Wood's producer and fiancé. Morgan startles Wood with questions about her telephone conversation with Dr. Swann, and is soon asked to leave. Miss Phillips later visits Morgan and recalls that she had seen her boss pick up a key that looked like it belonged to a public locker. After determining that Mrs. Swann has the key, Morgan goes to her home to look at it, but is clubbed on the head by Vandaman, who came to discuss Swann's death and does not want to be incriminated. When he regains consciousness, Morgan discovers that Mrs. Swann has been killed. Morgan surprises Vandaman at his studio and demands to know why he killed Mrs. Swann, but Vandaman insists she was dead when he arrived. Vandaman then tells Morgan that he recalls overhearing a quarrel between Dr. Swann and Steven Loring, who accused Dr. Swann of having an affair with his wife. Morgan visits Loring's alcoholic wife and, while questioning her, learns that she met a man named Swann at the Key Club. Morgan and Dizzy go to the Key Club, where they witness the jealous Loring assault Regan. Morgan is then forced into a car by two gangsters, who try to get him to divulge the location of "the key" by beating him. Morgan escapes, however, by jumping through a window, then hitches a ride from a woman named Heidi, who was at the club. Heidi takes Morgan to her home and tries to slip a narcotic into his drink, but he switches the glasses and watches as she loses consciousness. Seeing the name of psychic Huntley G. Harlow on Heidi's car keys, Morgan pays Harlow a visit, posing as a new patient. No sooner does Morgan tell Harlow some of the details of his investigation, than the psychic reveals his complicity in the crime by asking to purchase the key from him. Loring later reveals to Morgan that his wife was first married to Regan's uncle, who died and left her a great sum of money. Morgan and Loring's conversation is interrupted by the police, who tell them that Harlow has been found murdered in the Loring home. As Morgan questions Mrs. Loring about her first husband's death, Loring tricks his wife into confessing that she murdered Harlow and Swann, and that she conspired with Swann to kill her first husband. Swann later blackmailed her and the evidence, in the form of a statement by Swann, was in the locker. The key to the locker, which Morgan had previously visited, is found in Mrs. Loring's house, definitively linking her to the murders, and her arrest closes the case for him.
Victor Sen Young
Fred S. Toones
Sol M. Wurtzel
Doris Dowling (1923-2004)
Doris Dowling was born on May 15, 1923 in Detroit, Michigan. She showed an interest in acting at a young age, and after a few years of stage work in the Midwest, she joined her older sister, the leading lady Constance Dowling, in Hollywood. Paramount soon took notice of the sultry brunette with the soulful expression and husky voice, and promptly signed her to a contract.
She made a stunning film debut as Gloria, the hooker who befriends Ray Milland at a bar, becoming his good-humored confidante in The Lost Weekend (1945); she followed that up in the overlooked, film noir gem, The Blue Dahlia (1946), playing Alan Ladd's shrewish wife before being killed by a mystery killer in the first reel. She made another noir thriller, the forgettable, The Crimson Key (1947), playing, once again, an unsympathetic part before heading off to Europe. Once there, Italian director Giuseppe de Santis used her effectively in Bitter Rice (1948), arguably her best performance as the jewelry thief hiding among women rice workers in Northern Italy; another notable role was as Bianca in Orson Welles' French production of Othello (1951).
She returned to Hollywood in the late '50s, and spent the next three decades doing television work: Bonanza, Perry Mason, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Barnaby Jones, and The Streets of San Francisco, just to name a few. She retired quietly from acting by the early '80s. She was briefly married to bandleader Artie Shaw (1952-56), and is survived by her son through that marriage, Jonathan; and her husband of 44 years, Leonard Kaufman.
by Michael T. Toole