Blue, White and Perfect (1942) - Rotten Tomatoes

Blue, White and Perfect (1942)

Blue, White and Perfect





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The high batting average of 20th Century-Fox's Michael Shayne detective series remained intact with Blue, White and Perfect. Having prevented his sweetheart Merle Garland (Mary Beth Hughes) from marrying a bigamous fortune-hunter (Ivan Lebedeff), Mike Shayne (Lloyd Nolan) offers to marry the girl himself (at long last!) Merle agrees, but only if Mike gets out of the private-eye racket and takes an honest job. Shayne manages to land a job at an aircraft factory, only to discover that he's been hired to protect the company's valuable supply of industrial diamonds. When the gems are stolen during a highly suspicious break-in, Mike follows the trail of clues to a fancy dress shop managed by one Mr. Hagermann (Henry Victor). Sending his fiancee off on a wild goose chase, Mike trails Hagermann to a Honolulu-bound ocean liner, where he renews an acquaintance with former lady friend Helen Shaw (Helene Reynolds) and is introduced to overly effusive young playboy Juan Arturo O'Hara (George Reeves). Detective-movie logic dictates that at least one of these characters is inextricably linked with the elusive Hagermann-who is no mere diamond thief but a very clever German spy. All sorts of serial-like thrills await Shayne before he manages to uncover the "Mister Big" behind the stolen diamond racket (and it's a real surprise to boot!) Like most of Fox's Michael Shayne series entries, Blue White and Perfect was based not on a "Shayne" novel by Bret Halliday, but on a whodunit originally written for another fictional sleuth: In this instance, the source was a novel by Borden Chase.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Romance, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Samuel G. Engel
In Theaters:
20th Century Fox Film Corporation


Lloyd Nolan
as Michael Shayne
Mary Beth Hughes
as Merle Garland
Helene Reynolds
as Helen Shaw
George Reeves
as Juan Arturo O'Hara
Steven Geray
as Vanderhoefen
Henry Victor
as Hagerman
Curt Bois
as Nappy
Emmett Vogan
as Charlie
Mae Marsh
as Mrs. Toby
Frank Orth
as Mr. Toby
Ivan Lebedeff
as Alexis Fournier
Charles Trowbridge
as Capt. Brown
Edward Earle
as Richards
Cliff Clark
as Inspector
Arthur Loft
as Capt. McCordy
Ann Doran
as Miss Hoffman
Mary Beth Reynolds
as Merle Garland
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Critic Reviews for Blue, White and Perfect

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Audience Reviews for Blue, White and Perfect

The Michael Shayne series was a great gig for Lloyd Nolan as he didn't get to play many leads. "Blue, White, and Perfect" from 1942 is a fun entry into the series, and for us boomers, another chance to see George Reeves without his Superman cape. The film also features Helene Reynolds and Mary Beth Hughes.

In this one, Shayne takes a job as a riveter, at first to watch for sabotage, but after a robbery of industrial diamonds, to ferret out the criminal. Actually the job is a great cover as his fiancée, Merle, is pressuring him to get out of the detective business.

The trail leads to Hawaii. Since this film was released in January of 1942, it looks like it was filmed before Pearl Harbor, so the placement of the story in Hawaii is interesting, plus the fact that we seem to be on the trail of not Japanese, but Nazis. In order to get money for passage on the ship, Shayne convinces Merle to make a $1000 deposit on a ranch. Clever if low! On the ship, he meets Juan Arturo O'Hara (Reeves) and an old client, Helen Shaw, who now owns a dress shop in Hawaii. It gets pretty dicey from there as someone tries to kill Shayne, by not only shooting, but drowning! Director Herbert Leeds keeps the action going at a snappy pace. Highly entertaining, with a lively performance by Nolan, and a charming one by Reeves (Superman), whose career never regained its momentum after his war service.
4 Stars 1-16-13

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer


I've now seen all four of the currently released Michael Shayne pictures from the 1940s, and I'm almost completely out of steam to review them. There's not a lot of differentiation because they're b-roll pictures that acted as companions to bigger budgeted main features.

Shayne (Lloyd Nolan once again) is now confronted with a girlfriend, Merle Garland (Mary Beth Hughes, returning to the series as a different character), who wishes him to leave the detective business so that she will marry him. Shayne agrees, asking a friend to set him up in the Thomas Aircraft factory, where he masquerades as a riveter, but in fact aims to prevent sabotage (since it's wartime and all). He stumbles across a diamond smuggling plot which leads him to the Daisy Bell dress company, where he meets with Rudolph Hagerman (Henry Victor) as "Colonel Henry Breckenridge Lee, Jr.," a southern salesman. The perp who put him on the trail of the diamonds in the first place happens to catch him, though, so he's left trying to follow the diamonds on a ship, where he meets up with former flame Helen Shaw (Helene Reynolds) and playboy-type Juan Arturo O'Hara (George "Superman" Reeves). Naturally the diamond thieves aim to protect their quarry, but O'Hara seems to know more than he's letting on as well.

Much like Sleepers West, I was more entertained by this film than the other two. Nolan continues to shine in his role as Shayne, especially his amusing turn as the disguised Southerner, where he even goes so far as to carry himself differently and avoids really harping on his dialect choice. The best part was doubtless his interaction with the Tobys, who own a store right next to the Daisy Bell company. Mr. (Frank Orth) and Mrs. Toby (Mae Marsh) are left stunned and staring as Shayne wanders in and out of their store, attempting to keep himself below the radar in his investigations--or in attempting to continue his deception of Merle regarding his occupation. Reeves is interesting to see long before his Superman days, and interesting in his role as a whole, with a similarly subdued approach to an accent he doesn't naturally possess. Neither is of course perfectly accurate at it, but it's refreshingly low-key, especially for a film that not a lot of star power or money was dumped into.

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