In Just Off Broadway , Private Detective Michael Shayne is serving on a jury. He becomes convinced the defendant is innocent, so he votes not guilty and debates it in the jury room….
Actually, that’s what he would do in a rational world. Instead, Shayne conceals evidence from the police, gets a sleeping draft from the sheriff, and uses it to drug his roommate so he can escape a hotel room where he is sequestered with the rest of the jury and sets off on a madcap night of investigation to find the real killer.
The story works well as a Comedy Mystery, particularly as it’s an early film for Phil Silvers, who the first television generation would come to know as Sergeant Bilko. His role is relatively small but he plays it to the hilt. Nolan’s Shayne is very fun and charming. Majorie Weaver is solid if not outstanding as the female lead.
The quality of the restoration is very nice and probably better than most films in the series that have released, and the physical disk itself has a very elegant look. However, this comes at a cost. It is more than a bit expensive for a sixty-five minute B-movie even with the better quality.
It is far from the best movie in the series, but it’s still an enjoyable hour despite the fact that Shayne isn’t given a shred of motivation for his illegal actions. However, I liked the end, which, after so much absurdity, offers a realistic ending in a very funny way.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0
If you enjoyed this post, you can have new posts about Detective stories and the golden age of radio and television delivered automatically to your Kindle.
This post contains affiliate links, which means that items purchased from these links may result in a commission being paid to the author of this post at no extra cost to the purchase