The Panther's Claw (1942)

Genres - Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Film, Whodunit  |   Release Date - Mar 3, 1942 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 72 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Magazine writer and editor Fulton Ousler's stern police commissioner Thatcher Colt came to the screen in April of 1942 courtesy of former investment broker Lester Cutler, veteran actor Sidney Blackmer, and cinematic hack William Beaudine (the latter living up to his nickname "One Shot" by assembling the whodunit within a week or so at Hollywood's Talisman Studios). Arrested for loitering in a cemetery, wigmaker and operetta company proprietor Everett P. Digberry (Byron Foulger) claims to have been lured there by a blackmailer known only as the Black Panther. But as Colt and his lieutenant, Anthony Abbott (Rick Vallin), soon discover, the paw print on the blackmail note belongs to Digberry's own pet cat and when the wigmaker's secret inamorata, Nina Politza (Gerta Rozan), is found murdered, Digberry becomes the obvious prime suspect. But then a rival wigmaker is slain and suspicion turns to bombastic tenor Enrico Lombardi (Joaquin Edwards). But is he the killer? Or did someone else do the dirty deed? Despite a rather lavish ad campaign that promised more Thatcher Colt stories in the future, The Panther's Claw marked the fictional detective's only screen appearance.

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animal, business, clue, control, detective, investigation, killing, murder, opera, opera-company, opera-house, panther, private-detective, show, songwriter, strange, troupe