Best Crime Movies of 1936
The Petrified Forest
Gabby, the waitress in an isolated Arizona diner, dreams of a bigger and better life. One day penniless intellectual Alan drifts into the joint and the two strike up a rapport. Soon enough, notorious killer Duke Mantee takes the diner's inhabitants hostage. Surrounded by miles of desert, the patrons and staff are forced to sit tight with Mantee and his gang overnight.
After the Thin Man
Nick and Nora Charles investigate when Nora's cousin reports her disreputable husband is missing, and find themselves in a mystery involving the shady owners of a popular nightclub, a singer and her dark brother, the cousin's forsaken true love, and Nora's bombastic and controlling aunt.
Charlie Chan at the Race Track
When a friend of Charlie's is found kicked to death by his own race horse on board a Honolulu-bound liner, the detective discovers foul play and uncovers an international gambling ring.
Charlie Chan's Secret
Allen Colby, heir to a huge fortune, is presumed drowned after an ocean liner sinks off the coast of Honolulu. Mysteriously, Colby reappears at his mansion only to be murdered soon after. When his body is discovered during a seance, everyone in attendance becomes a suspect, and it's up to Chan to find the murderer before he or she strikes again.
Bullets or Ballots
After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner, former detective Johnny Blake publicly punches him, convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the mob. "Bugs" Fenner, meanwhile, is certain that Blake is a police agent.
Madeleine steals a string of pearls in Paris and uses US engineer Tom, who is driving on his vacation to Spain, to get the pearls out of France. But getting the pearls back from him proves to be difficult without falling in love.
The General Died at Dawn
In revolution-torn China, American mercenary O'Hara is entrusted with a perilous mission, to get arms for the helpless authorities in a province ravaged by warlord General Yang. On the train to Shanghai, he meets Judy Perrie, whose father is in league with Yang. Will Judy regret agreeing to lure O'Hara to his doom, and if so, can she make it up to him? The balance of power seesaws to a perilous conclusion.
The Case of the Black Cat
Lawyer Perry Mason is summoned to the Laxter mansion in the dead of night to write granddaughter Wilma out of invalid Peter Laxter's will, to keep her from marrying suspected fortune hunter Doug. Peter dies in a mysterious fire and Laxter's two grandsons, Sam Laxter and Frank Oafley, inherit his estate on the condition old caretaker Schuster and his cat Clinker are kept on. When cat-hating Sam threatens Clinker, Perry steps in and learns Laxter's death was suspicious and the family fortune and diamonds are missing. Schuster's found dead in his basement apartment, Laxter's nurse Louise is murdered with Schuster's crutch, and circumstantial evidence brings Doug to trial for Louise's death. Mason's investigation produces a surprise witness who turns the trial around. Written by Sister Grimm
The Last Journey
Bob Holt's last journey as a Railway engine driver before his retirement, a journey disturbed by his distress at leaving the Railway, and his suspicions of the relationship between his wife and his fireman. Aboard the train are a pair of pickpockets, a honeymoon couple, a drunk, a temperance pamphleteer and a host of familiar types, all more-or-less bizarre in characteristically English ways. Bob takes an unexpected course of action, and the characters start interacting in varied and unexpected ways. When, at last, the train stops, all has been resolved, but not as might have been expected at the beginning of the journey.
The Public Pays
In this MGM Crime Does Not Pay series short, a protection racket preying on milk distribution is broken through the persistence of law enforcement and the courage of a local businessman.