Joan Blondell as Nurse Adams in Miss Pinkerton (1932). Nurse Adams is sick of the monotony of being a hospital nurse and is quite vocal about her discontent. But things are about to change for the bored nurse. She's given the exciting opportunity of working at the home of the well-known Mitchell family. The head nurse informs Nurse Adams that she'll also be assisting the police in a homicide case that happened at that same home. When she arrives, she finds herself in a situation that is a lot more than she bargained for. Her situation brings to mind the common saying: Be careful what you wish for because it might come true.
George Brent plays Police Inspector Patten who is continuously at the house investigating the suspicious death of the Mitchell family heir Herbert Wynn. He enlists Nurse Adams to help him look for clues and dubs her Miss Pinkerton, a reference to the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. It's a reference that someone from 1932 would have gotten right away but a contemporary audience might scratch their head in confusion.
The film has a rather convoluted plot and there is quite a lot going on including murder disguised as suicide, insurance fraud, a secret marriage, affairs, poisoning, forgery, tricks and more. The film tries to spook audiences but in my opinion it falls flat and loses itself in its own plot. Even Joan Blondell couldn't save the movie for me. And I absolutely adore her and will watch just about any movie she's in. In Miss Pinkerton, Blondell's wide eyes grow even wider whenever she screams in fear. She does the frightened look well. But her character is in no way a victim even when she's put in various dangerous situations. She's sassy, clever and scrappy: the perfect detective. If I had to chose one thing I really liked about the film, it was Miss Pinkerton as a pre-code woman!
Nurse Adams/Miss Pinkerton and Inspector Patten (George Brent) have a romance which I thought could have been played up a bit more. The love story is rather neglected. It isn't given enough time to develop and because of that we don't really see any sparks between the two love birds. That whole plot line seems to have been added as after thought rather than an important part of the story.
It was nice to see actress Mary Doran in the film. She plays Florence Lenz, a gopher of one of the story's villains. Doran also played the other woman in one of my favorite pre-codes The Divorcee (1930). Also, Lyle Talbot has a bit part early on in Miss Pinkerton as newspaper reporter.
Miss Pinkerton (1932) is one of five films in Warner Archive's Forbidden Hollywood Collection: Volume 5 DVD set. If you are a Pre-Code enthusiast, I recommend watching this film at least once to add to your repertoire.
Warner Archive Wednesday - On (random) Wednesdays, I review one title from the Warner Archive Collection. I purchased Miss Pinkerton as part of the Forbidden Hollywood Collection: Volume 5.