Private Detective 62

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Private Detective 62
Theatrical Film Poster
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Screenplay by Rian James
Story by Raoul Whitfield
Starring William Powell
Cinematography Tony Gaudio
Edited by Harold McLernon
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • June 10, 1933 (1933-06-10) (USA)
Running time
66 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Private Detective 62 is a 1933 American Pre-Code detective film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring William Powell. It is a film about a private detective who falls for the beautiful gambling lady he has been hired to frame in a scandal.


In France, United States State Department employee Donald Free (William Powell) is caught trying to steal French state papers. Free is released from his job and is deported. Back in the US, Free has a hard time finding another job due to the Great Depression. Free convinces Dan Hogan (Arthur Hohl), the crooked and incompentent owner of the Peerless Detective Agency, to partner with him. Without Free's knowledge, Hogan becomes financed with gangster Tony Bandor (Gordon Westcott) and business booms.

Bandor complains that a society woman, Janet Reynolds (Margaret Lindsay), is winning too much at his gambling tables and hires Hogan to find some scandal he can use to prevent her from collecting her winnings. Hogan assigns Free, without telling him the truth behind the request. But, while keeping an eye on Janet, Free falls in love with her. When Janet informs Bandor that she wants to collect her winnings, Hogan suggests to Bandor that they make Janet think she has killed Bandor under suspicious conditions. Hogan then double-crosses Bandor by hiring a thug to shoot him after Janet leaves the apartment. Janet not knowing what to do, asks Free to help her. Free learns the identity of Bandor's actual killer and traces him back to Hogan. Meanwhile, Hogan tries to blackmail Janet. After Donald has Hogan arrested, he is offered his old job again, but tells Janet that it is not the sort of life he could ask anyone to share with him so he leaves. As he is leaving, Janet proposes to him and he accepts.



The film's working titles were Private Detective and Man Killer. According to production records in the file on the film in the AMPAS library, the film was shot over twenty-one days at a cost of $260,000. Modern sources list Hal B. Wallis as supervisor.[1]


  1. ^ "Private Detective 62 Notes". Retrieved March 15, 2014. 

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