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A Shot in the Dark (1941 film)

A Shot in the Dark
A Shot in the Dark poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWilliam C. McGann
Screenplay byM. Coates Webster
Based onNo Hard Feelings by Frederick Nebel
Produced byBryan Foy
StarringWilliam Lundigan
Nan Wynn
Ricardo Cortez
Regis Toomey
CinematographyJames Van Trees
Edited byHarold McLernon
Music byWilliam Lava
Release date
  • April 5, 1941 (1941-04-05)
Running time
57 minutes
CountryUnited States

A Shot in the Dark is a 1941 American drama film directed by William C. McGann and written by M. Coates Webster, starring William Lundigan, Nan Wynn, and Ricardo Cortez. It was released by Warner Bros. on April 5, 1941.[1][2][3] The film was based on the short story "No Hard Feelings" by Frederick Nebel in the Black Mask magazine. The movie is also a remake of the Torchy Blane film Smart Blonde (1937).


Nightclub owner Philip Richards (Ricardo Cortez) announced that he will marry Helen Armstrong (Maris Wrixon) and is selling his business to George Kilpatrick (Theodore Von Eltz). A local racketeer, Schaffer, wants to know why Philip refused his higher offer and makes a threat against George Kilpatrick. Philip's ex-girlfriend Clare Winters try to stop him from selling the club and hold a gun on him, which he takes away and puts in his safe. A reporter, Peter Kennedy (William Lundigan) who is in love with the club's singer Dixie Waye (Nan Wynn) meets George Kilpatrick at the airport, who on his way to the taxi is shot and killed.

Peter's rival for Dixie's affections, lieutenant William Ryder (Regis Toomey) question Philip about George Kilpatrick's murder. At Philip's apartment, William is introduced to Philip's fiancée Helen and her brother Roger. Waiting at Clare's, Peter finds out that Clare is missing. Later, William and Peter learn that Roger has been attacked in his apartment, and the attacker left behind a handkerchief with the initials "A. M". Peter thinks it might belong to Philip's right-hand man, Al Martin (Noel Madison) who recently left town. Clare's body is later found, along with the gun that Philip took away from her. The elevator boy reveals that he saw a man matching Philip's description on the same floor where Clare's room is.

William arrests Philip who confesses to the murder but pulls a gun and escapes. William thinks he is protecting someone else and didn't really kill Clare. Dixie accepts a date with Roger and a photographer snap a picture of them together. In a jealous rage, Helen fires Dixie and Peter takes her jealousy that she's not really Roger's sister. William and Peter questions them and Helen confesses that she killed Clare in self-defense when Clare threatened her life. William learns over the telephone that Clare is George Kilpatrick's ex-wife. He later confronts Helen, and Philip who has been hiding in her home comes out. Helen and Roger escape in the confusion. After a chase, they are captured and confess to both murders. William tells Peter that Al and Clare wanted to break Philip's engagement and that Philip was trying to take the blame for Clare's murder to protect Helen. Afterward, they both approach Dixie for a date, but she leaves with a naval officer.




  1. ^ "A Shot in the Dark (1941)". All Movie. Retrieved 2015-08-02.
  2. ^ "A Shot in the Dark (1941)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2015-08-02.
  3. ^ "A Shot in the Dark". American film Institute: catalog of feature films. Retrieved 2015-08-02.
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A Shot in the Dark (1941 film)
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