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Kid Glove Killer (1942)

Crime lab expert Gordon McKay uses the latest forensic techniques to solve murders in a city plagued by political corruption and mob rackets.


Fred Zinnemann


Allen Rivkin (screenplay), John C. Higgins (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Van Heflin ... Gordon McKay
Marsha Hunt ... Jane Mitchell
Lee Bowman ... Gerald Ladimer
Samuel S. Hinds ... Mayor Daniels
Cliff Clark ... Captain Lynch
Eddie Quillan ... Eddie Wright
John Litel ... Matty
Cathy Lewis ... Bessie Wright (as Catherine Lewis)
Nella Walker ... Mrs. Daniels


First feature film from director Fred Zinneman is a snappy little "B" feature that features Van Heflin as the head of a city crime lab who solves the murder of the town mayor by analyzing evidence from the crime. Written by <jbsports@li.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime under the microscope.Introducing Police chemist Gordon McKay.


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Release Date:

April 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Gentleman-Killer See more »


Box Office


$199,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$336,000, 31 December 1942

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$550,000, 31 December 1942
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The plot was based on an entry in MGM's "Crime Does Not Pay" series directed by Harold S. Bucquet. Ironically director Fred Zinneman had started his American director career in the series. See more »


In the very first scene, the city view with busy street is reversed. See more »


Eddie Wright: Just bury me with one of your swell hamburgers on my chest.
Bessie Wright: With onions?
Eddie Wright: You oughta know by now.
See more »


Remake of They're Always Caught (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

Light Me
6 May 2005 | by sol-kaySee all my reviews

(Slight Spoilers) Intelligent little murder drama where were shown who the murderer is even before he murders his victim. Working for the election of Richard Daniels, Samuel S. Hinds, for mayor of Chatsburg crusading lawyer and crime-fighting, that's a laugh, radio personality Jerry Lidimer, Lee Bowman, is in the know to just what Daniels is to do to in combating crime after he gets into office. Jerry is really working for the Matty Mob who's paying him $1,000.00 a week for his services.

Having Matty's hit men knock off Mayor Daniels crime-fighting attorney general Hunter J. Turnley, by telling them wheres he's going on vacation and thus away from his police protection, Jerry is now made by the unsuspecting Mayor Daniels special prosecutor which makes him even more effective for the mob not the law-abiding people of Chatsburg who he's sworn to serve.

Mayor Daniels later gets this special delivery letter that asks him about a reference for Jerry and how he was able to pay up front $28,000.00 in cash for a $80,000.00 insurance policy. Daniels knowing that Jerry was flat broke where he started to work for him less then a year ago also knows that there's something not kosher with Jerry and tells him that he's going to announce an investigation on his finances the next day.

Panic-stricken Jerry rigs Mayor Daniels car and the next morning as the Mayor is about to start the car motor he's blown to bits. Having a perfect pasty to take the fall diner owner Eddie Wright, Eddie Quillan, Jerry is now in the clear not only to be special prosecutor but mayor as well of Chatsburg. This will give the Matty Mob the run of the city with nothing to fear from the police and the law. What Jerry didn't count on is the man in charge of police lab Gordon McKay, Van Heflin.

Getting all the evidence together Gordon and his pretty assistant Jane Mitchell, Marsha Hunt, at first exonerates the accused and bewildered Eddie Wright of Mayor Daniels murder. With Jerry desperately trying to put the frame on poor Eddie and with a little conniving, on his part, Gordon gets the goods on Jerry by getting a sample of his hair which has particles that were found at the murder scene.

The ending has Jerry who found out about Gordon's evidence against him ,from an unsuspecting Jane, have it out with Gordon, who knew he was coming to murder him, who called the police in advance and also gets Jerry pinned with a dart that he was practicing with all through the film.

Van Heflin was both valiant and funny as the somewhat peculiar lab technician Gordon McKay and his scenes with the pretty Marsha Hunt were, besides a number of fight scenes, the highlight of the movie "Kid Glove Killer".

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