Private Detective 62

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 woman he has been hired to frame in a scandal.

Private Detective 62
Theatrical Film Poster
Directed byMichael Curtiz
Screenplay byRian James
Story byRaoul Whitfield
StarringWilliam Powell
CinematographyTony Gaudio
Edited byHarold McLernon
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • June 10, 1933 (1933-06-10) (USA)
Running time
66 minutes
CountryUnited States


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 incompetent owner of the Peerless Detective Agency, to partner with him. Without Free's knowledge, Hogan becomes financed by 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 engages Free, without telling him the truth behind the request. But, while keeping an eye on Reynolds, Free falls in love with her. When Reynolds informs Bandor that she wants to collect her winnings, Hogan suggests to Bandor that they make Reynolds think she has killed Bandor under suspicious conditions. Hogan then double-crosses Bandor by hiring a thug to shoot him after Reynolds leaves the apartment. Reynolds, 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 Free has Hogan arrested, he is offered his old job again, but tells Reynolds that it is not the sort of life he could ask anyone to share with him so he leaves. As he is leaving, Reynolds proposes to him and he accepts.


Charles Lane also appears in this film as the "PROCESS CLERK"


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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