Directed by Chester M. Franklin
Written by Robert Lord and Chester M. Franklin
Starring Karl Dane
George K. Arthur
Cinematography John Arnold
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date June 9, 1928
Running time 7 reels
Country United States
Language Silent, English intertitles
This film is part of our series 'Hidden Gems'. It can be watched by registered users who make a donation. For more details, please click here.
"Detectives" is a classic comedy. We have included this film in our program to illustrate the work and contributions of our star Marceline Day.
We are showing you the film trailer courtesy of Mr. Eric Grayson, a film historian and silent movie enthusiast.
Warner Bros. keeps a copy of the film locked in their vaults. They do not plan to release it on DVD. They have also refused our multiple requests to make a copy of the film available to Silent Hall of Fame, so we can show it to the public. Until and if that happens, we have to rely on newspaper articles about the film from the 1920ies.
Here are just a few of the reviews for this film:
The popular screen comedians, Karl Dane and George K. Arthur, are in happy vein in "Detectives", the principal picture at Hoyts Regent this week. Farcical, but funny, "Detectives" has a cleverly constructed story, with a hotel detective and a hotel messenger boy as the chief players. George K. Arthur, as the detective of mammoth frame and mammoth conceit, always cuts a humorous picture, while he and Dane are associated in a succession of laughable incidents. Their main activity is the pursuit of a pseudo doctor, who establishes himself in the hotel as a lecturer in Egyptology, and spends his spare time collecting the jewels belonging to other guests. The chase leads them into many exciting happenings, including some weird adventures in a house in which the thief has taken refuge. There is an amusing conclusion when the detective finds himself behind jail bars, while the messenger is loudly praised for the capture of the thief and the recovery of the jewels. Marceline Day is charming as the typist with whom the detective and the messenger are both infatuated. (The Daily News)
"Detectives", featuring Karl Dane and George K. Arthur, deals with the detecting of a master crook by these two mirthmakers. Their jealous antagonism is the medium for much real comedy. Marceline Day gives a pleasing performance as a stenographer, with whom Dane falls in love. (The Mercury)
Quite a few thrills are worked into the mystery plot concerning the disappearance of the jewels which have been stolen by the master crook. Karl Dane and George K. Arthur act as the amateur detectives trying to solve the mystery. A lot of the comedy is worked up through the rivalry of the two for the hand of Marceline Day, who is very attractive as the pretty stenographer at the hotel. (Film Daily)
"Detectives", showing at the Star Court Theatre tonight, is a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer mystery story with all the thrills of an excellently produced crook drama - and the comedy introduced by Dane and Arthur, the former a house detective, and the latter as a bellboy at a fashionable hotel, both blundering innocently into one thrilling situation after another, is undoubtedly the laugh of the year. This picture from comedy headquarters provides more scope than ever for the individual talent of Karl Dane and George K. Arthur, while Marceline Day as the stenographer - she also appeared with the Dane-Arthur comedy team in "Rookies" - is as fresh and sweet as ever. (Northern Star)
"Detectives" features Karl Dane, George K. Arthur and Marceline Day, the noted comedy trio, who are too well known to our audience to need introduction. Suffice to say is that "Detectives" is the mightiest mirth-making mystery yet screened. (Chronicle)
Marceline Day's portrayal of the stenographer, for whose favors both Karl Dane and George K. Arthur fight in "Detectives", again gives a most pleasing performance. The Dane-Arthur comedy team surpasses even its memorable work in "Rookies". (Evening Post)
Click to enlarge:
Marceline Day with George K. Arthur
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Below is a short preview of the film.