Best Mystery Movies of 1938
The Lady Vanishes
On a train headed for England a group of travelers is delayed by an avalanche. Holed up in a hotel in a fictional European country, young Iris befriends elderly Miss Froy. When the train resumes, Iris suffers a bout of unconsciousness and wakes to find the old woman has disappeared. The other passengers ominously deny Miss Froy ever existed, so Iris begins to investigate with another traveler and, as the pair sleuth, romantic sparks fly.
Pepe Le Moko is a notorious thief, who escaped from France. Since his escape, Moko became a resident and leader of the immense Casbah of Algiers. French officials arrive insisting on Pepe's capture are met with unfazed local detectives, led by Inspector Slimane, who are biding their time. Meanwhile, Pepe meets the beautiful Gaby , which arouses the jealousy of Ines
The Mad Miss Manton
When the murdered body discovered by beautiful, vivacious socialite Melsa Manton disappears, police and press label her a prankster until she proves them wrong.
Charlie Chan in Honolulu
While Charlie is distracted with the birth of his first grandchild, son Jimmy impersonates his father in order to investigate a murder aboard a freighter in the harbor.
Mr. Wong, Detective
A chemical manufacturer is killed just after asking detective James Wong to help him. So Detective Wong decides to investigate this as well as two subsequent murders.
Nancy Drew: Detective
Nancy Drew and Ted Nickerson solve a kidnapping case of a wealthy elderly lady. Ted has to disguise himself as a nurse while Nancy becomes a "widow" in order to locate the lady they are rescuing.
Mr. Moto's Gamble
Celebrated as supersleuth, Mr. Moto comes out fighting when a brutal boxing match turns into cold-blooded murder! Assisted by detective-in-training Lee Chan, Moto sets out to track down the killer based on a single ominous clue: a poisoned boxing glove! But when Moto's hunch points to a corrupt gambling syndicate, he's forced to wager his very life to unmask the culprit—or go down for the count...permanently!
There's Always a Woman
An investigator for the District Attorney's office quits to open his own detective agency. However, business is so bad that he finally decides to give it up and go back to his old job. As his wife is at his office closing up, a wealthy society matron walks in with a case: she wants to know if her husband is having an affair with his ex-girlfriend, who is now married. The wife accepts what looks to be an easy case, figuring than she can then persuade her husband to re-start the agency. However, when the client's husband is found murdered, she decides to investigate the murder herself. Her husband has also been assigned by the D.A. to investigate the murder, and he doesn't know that his wife is also on the case. Complications ensue.
The Return of the Frog
The film concerns a police hunt for the criminal known as The Frog.
Torchy Gets Her Man
A notorious counterfeiter passes himself off as a Secret Service agent to Steve and gets him to unwittingly help him bilk the racetrack out of tens of thousands.
Arrest Bulldog Drummond
The invention of a machine that can cause remote explosions brings the attention of Scotland Yard and Bulldog Drummond.
A nightclub dancer and a detective try and catch the gangster who framed her brother.
The Gaunt Stranger
A lawyer receives a note telling him that he'll be dead in 48 hours - and Scotland Yard must work fast to uncover the serial killer known as 'The Ringer'.
Mysterious Mr. Moto
The Japanese detective rounds up a league of assassins for Scotland Yard.
Four Men and a Prayer
The sons of a disgraced British officer try to clear his name.
Arsène Lupin Returns
A woman and a man vying for a woman's affection: the usual love trio? Not quite so since the belle in question is Lorraine de Grissac, a very wealthy and alluring society woman, while one of the two rivals is none other than Arsène Lupin, the notorious jewel thief everybody thought dead, now living under the assumed name of René Farrand. As for the other suitor he is an American, a former F.B.I. sleuth turned private eye by the name of Steve Emerson. Steve not only suspects Farrand of being Lupin but when someone attempts to steal a precious emerald necklace from Lorraine's uncle, Count de Brissac, he is persuaded Lupin is the culprit. Is Emerson right or wrong? Which of the two men will win over Lorraine's heart?
Married book-dealers Joel & Garda Sloane try to clear a friend in the murder of a rival book-seller.
The Face Behind the Mask
This dramatized short film describes the historical mystery of France's "man in the iron mask". King Louis XIV imprisoned a man who was never identified, but who was forced to wear an iron mask for the length of his captivity, which ended only in his death. Several candidates for the identity of the man are investigated.
The Ware Case
An aristocrat won't economize, then his rich brother in law is found murdered in the grounds of the aristocrat's house
The Lone Wolf in Paris
Former jewel thief Michael Lanyard toys with a princess and a grand duke.
Mr. Moto Takes a Chance
In the jungle near Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Mr. Moto poses as an ineffectual archaeologist and a venerable holy man with mystical powers to help foil two insurgencies against the government.
The Lady in the Morgue
A detective investigates the disappearance of a girl's body from the city morgue.
A fairly accurate historical account of Walter Reed's search for the cause of "Yellow Jack" or Yellow Fever and those who risked their lives in the pursuit.
Torchy Blane in Panama
Torchy, Steve, and Gahagan are on the trail of a bank robber aboard an ocean liner traveling from New York to L.A. via the Panama Canal.
The Patient in Room 18
Choreographer Bob Connolly and prolific screenwriter Crane Wilbur teamed up on the direction of Warner Bros.' The Patient in Room 18. Patric Knowles delivers a delightfully comic performance as Lance, an outwardly normal young man obsessed with detective stories. When his obsession threatens to lapse over into lunacy, Lance is sent to the hospital for a nice long rest. It isn't long before he gets mixed up in a genuine murder mystery, using his second-hand knowhow to solve the case. Up-and-coming Ann Sheridan is quite amusing as Lance's nurse and confidante, while the murderer is played by a fellow who is usually cast as the murder victim.
Hollywood Stadium Mystery
A boxer is killed in the ring, and the only clue is a tune that a man was whistling.
This gripping, atmospheric crime thriller from Austrian-born director Paul Stein stars Oscar nominee Raymond Massey as a man at the centre of a multiple murder investigation – a case that sparks a sensationalist press frenzy when it becomes clear that the killer only strikes when there is a full moon.
Bulldog Drummond's Peril
Drummond's wedding with Phyllis is interrupted when the inspector guarding their gifts is killed. He tries to trace the killers and uncovers the mystery of diamond counterfeiters.
A spoiled boy sent to the country to grow-up. He has to deal with life, friends and crooks.
The Spy Ring
Two American-army officers are working on a new type of machine-gun for anti-aircraft warfare, when one of them is murdered. The other vows to get the spies that are after the invention and avenge his friend's death.
When Were You Born
A San Francisco astrologer correctly predicts a ship passenger's death and then helps the police look for the murderer.
When a banker is found shot dead with a gun in his hand, his daughter refuses to believe it is a suicide. With the help of a detective, she hopes to get to the bottom of the case.
A Paris sculptor (Richard Dix) fakes blindness in Los Angeles to recover his blackmailed sister's love letters.
The second and final Grand National Pictures film to feature The Shadow, played again by Rod La Rocque. In this version, Lamont Cranston is an amateur detective and host of a radio show with his assistant Phoebe (not Margo) Lane. Cabbie Moe Shrevnitz and Commissioner Weston also appear.
In Paris a leading theatre impresario is murdered on opening night, shortly after replacing his leading lady. A police Inspector in the audience takes over the investigation. The film was shot at Elstree Studios. It was a close remake of the 1937 Austrian film Premiere and re-used a number of musical scenes from the original which were dubbed into English.
This Man Is News
A newspaper reporter keeps beating the police to clues in a current murder case. This makes the police think he may be involved in the crime.
The Invisible Menace
Army Private Eddie Pratt smuggles his new bride into camp in hopes of having a happy wedding night. Instead they discover a murder. Colonel Rogers of Army Intelligence arrives to take over the case. The prime suspect, Jevries, is well-known to Rogers, who sets out to get a confession from Jevries even though there are plenty of other suspects.
Secrets of a Nurse
This Universal programmer was based on a Collier's Magazine story by journalist Quentin Reynolds. This story in turn was ostensibly based on a true incident, in which a gangster "returned from the dead" to save an innocent young man from the electric chair. The nurse of the film's title is Katharine McDonald, who falls in love with her prizefighter-patient Lee Burke as he recovers from a beating received in a fixed prizefight. Katharine must fend off the advances of criminal attorney John Dodge, another patient who also loves her and becomes jealous of Lee. But when Lee is framed for the murder of his disgruntled manager, Slice, by a henchman of the fight-fix leader, Joe Largo, Dodge takes on his defense and works with Katherine to discover the real killer. Convicted and sentenced to death, Burke is about to walk the "last mile", as Katharine encourages mortally wounded Largo to a deathbed confession.
Mr. Reeder in Room 13
Capt. Johnnie Gray is enlisted by Mr. J.G. Reeder to infiltrate a gang of forgers in Dartmoor jail on behalf of the Bank of England.
Sunset Murder Case
Small-time showgirl poses as a stripper to infiltrate a nightclub whose owner is believed responsible for her father's murder.
The Secret of Treasure Island
A variety of people are searching for a long-hidden treasure somewhere on an island. Chapter titles: 1.The Isle of Fear 2.The Ghost Talks 3.The Phantom Duel 4.Buried Alive 5.The Girl Who Vanished 6.Trapped by the Flood 7.The Cannon Roars 8.The Circle of Death 9.The Pirate's Revenge 10.The Crash 11.Dynamite 12.The Bridge of Doom 13.The Mad Flight 14.The Jaws of Destruction 15.Justice
Making the Headlines
Angry, because he is making too many headlines with his gang-busting activities, the police chief transfers Lt. Lewis Nagel to the sleepy suburban town of Fairview, where he is followed by reporter Steve Withers because he knows Nagel will find a story.
The Jury's Secret
A reporter covering a murder trial guesses that the murderer of a ruthless businessman is her ex-fiancé and persuades him to confess and clear the innocent man on trial.
Pre-war intelligence man Tommy Blythe interrupts his honeymoon to investigate the discovery of vital Air Ministry blueprints on a woman killed in a London road accident. The trail leads to a boarding house in Notting Hill and its varied tenants.
The Claydon Treasure Mystery
"The Claydon Treasure Mystery" stars reliable John Stuart as an engineer (Peter Kerrigan) interested in solving mysteries, who becomes involved in investigating murders at Marsh Manor, home of the wealthy Claydon family. Plenty of suspects to choose from, Kerrigan believes that the murders may be connected to hidden treasure on the estate.
Dangerous to Know
Racketeer Steve Recka, art patron and political power-maker, rules his town and Madame Lan Ying, his beautiful friend and hostess (read:mistress), with an iron hand. He meets Margaret Van Kase, a socialite not impressed by his power nor his wealth, having no money herself, and Steve makes frantic efforts to win her and turns away from the loyal Lin Yang.
Who Killed Gail Preston?
A temperamental singer's murder leaves a nightclub full of suspects.
Romance on the Run
A (rather shady?) private detective specializing in recovering highly insured items gets involved in recovering a stolen necklace. In the process also gets involved with a secretary at the insurance company.
This MGM Historical Mystery short follows the life and exploits of killer outlaw Joaquin Murrieta, in California in the 1850s.
The Last Warning
In their third and last teaming, Bill Crane and Doc Williams visit a country estate to investigate threatening letters from the mysterious 'Eye.'